- The Washington Times - Friday, March 15, 2019

A former Defense Intelligence Agency worker pleaded guilty Friday to attempting to give classified national defense information to a Chinese intelligence agency.

Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, of Syracuse, Utah, admitted to one count of attempting to gather or deliver defense information in a Utah federal court.

Prosecutors recommend a 15-year sentence for Hansen on the charge, which carries a maximum term of life in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Sept. 24.

Authorities originally charged Hansen with attempting to gather or deliver defense information, being an unregistered agent of a foreign government, three counts of bulk cash smuggling, eight counts of structuring money transactions and two counts of smuggling goods for the United States.

Hansen admitted that in early 2014, Chinese intelligence agents targeted him for recruitment and began to meet with him regularly in China.

Hansen attended military and intelligence conferences and then provided information he gleaned at the conference to his handlers in China, prosecutors said.

In exchange, China intelligence paid him at least $800,000 during the course of his relationship with the agents, according to court documents.

Prosecutors said Hansen still attempted to access classified information even after he left the government. He was ultimately caught when he attempted to recruit a confidential FBI source, according to court documents.

Authorities arrested Hansen in June in Seattle as he prepared to board a flight to China.

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