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PACOM contractor charged with sharing nuclear secrets with China

by Mike Hoffman on March 19, 2013

A former Army officer has been arrested and charged  in Hawaii for sharing nuclear secrets with a Chinese woman living in the U.S. on a visa, according to a report by a Hawaiian television station.

Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 59, is a defense contractor working at U.S. Pacific Command. He allegedly passed information relating to “nuclear weapons …  the planned deployment of U.S. strategic nuclear systems … the ability of the United States to detect low– and medium-range ballistic missiles of foreign governments, and … the deployment of U.S. early warning radar systems in the Pacific Rim,” according to court documents.

Bishop, 59, had a relationship with the Chinese woman, 27, which he hid from U.S. officials. He was arrested Friday at his office at U.S. Pacific Command. He was arrested without incident, according to the report.

Bishop was charged with “one count of willfully communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive such information and one count of unlawfully retaining documents related to the national defense,” according to KITV’s report. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in jail.

There were no further details in the affidavit about the content of the information Bishop allegedly shared with the woman, according to the report.

The arrest comes on the heels of the announcement by Defense Secretary Hagel that the U.S. will boost its missile defense system to protect U.S. borders.

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