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Ex-CIA agent who spied for China gets 20 years in prison

Department of Justice. (Scott "Skippy"/Flickr)
May 20, 2019

A former U.S. Central Intelligence Agency officer from Virginia has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for spying for China.

Kevin Patrick Mallory, 62, was sentenced on Friday after being convicted under the Espionage Act for conspiracy to transmit national defense information to an agent of the People’s Republic of China, according to the Justice Department.

After his time served, Mallory will have five years of supervised release.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers said, “Former U.S. Intelligence officer Kevin Patrick Mallory will spend the next 20 years of his life in prison for conspiring to pass national defense information to a Chinese intelligence officer. This case is one in an alarming trend of former U.S. intelligence officers being targeted by China and betraying their country and colleagues.  This sentence, together with the recent guilty pleas of Ron Hansen in Utah and Jerry Lee in Virginia, deliver the stern message that our former intelligence officers have no business partnering with the Chinese, or any other adversarial foreign intelligence service.”

A federal jury found Mallory guilty in 2018 of “conspiracy to deliver, attempted delivery, delivery of national defense information to aid a foreign government and making material false statements,” the Justice Department stated.

“Mallory not only put our country at great risk, but he endangered the lives of specific human assets who put their own safety at risk for our national defense. There are few crimes in this country more serious than espionage, and this office has a long history of holding accountable those who betray our country,” U.S. Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger said.

“As the Chinese continue to attempt to identify and recruit current and former members of the United States intelligence community, those individuals should remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the appropriate security officials.  This case should send a message to anyone considering violating the public’s trust and compromising our national security by disclosing classified information.  We will remain steadfast and dogged in pursuit of these challenging but critical national security cases,” Terwillinger added.

Evidence suggested that Mallory went to Shanghai to meet with a Michael Yang, who he believed was a Chinese intelligence officer, in March and April 2017.

Yang had given Mallory a Samsung Galaxy smartphone to communicate with him, which Mallory surrendered to the FBI. Several discussions were found on the phone between the two regarding classified information that Mallory could sell to China’s intelligence service.

The FBI concluded that Mallory had successfully sent two documents and had five others ready to send. One of the documents consisted of “unique identifiers for human sources who had helped the United States government.”

Mallory went to a FedEx store to scan documents onto a micro SD card, all of which were classified as Top Secret, according to trial evidence. He also shredded eight other documents, but the FBI found an SD card when they raided his home and arrested him in June 2017.

Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara said, “U.S. Government employees are trusted to keep the nation’s secrets safe and this case shows the violation of that trust and duty will not be accepted.  The targeting of former U.S. security clearance holders by foreign intelligence services is a constant threat we face, and the FBI will continue to preserve and combat these threats head on.  I would like to thank the men and women of the FBI, and our counterparts at the Department of Justice, for their years of hard work to investigate and prosecute this case.”