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Former U.S. defense intelligence officer accused of spying for China

The Justice Department announced Monday that a former U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency officer was arrested Saturday for allegedly attempting to spy on the United States for China.

Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, was taken into custody by the FBI while at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. He speaks fluent Mandarin and Russian and had top secret clearance for several years, serving as a case officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2000 to 2006, while he was on active military duty; he later remained in that line of work as a civilian employee and contractor, Reuters reports.

Hansen is accused of trying to gather and deliver national defense information to a foreign government and receiving "hundreds of thousands of dollars" while acting as an unregistered foreign agent for China. The Justice Department said that from 2013 to 2017, he would pass along to China's intelligence service information he learned at conferences. Hansen was allegedly paid via wire transfers, cash, and credit cards.