Two San Diego-based U.S. Navy sailors have been arrested for providing military secrets to China. One of the sailors, Jinchao Wei, was allegedly encouraged by his mother to cooperate with a Chinese intelligence officer, and she even advised that it could lead to a future job with the Chinese government. The accused sailors have pleaded not guilty, and the prosecution has claimed that the leaked information put thousands of sailors at risk. If convicted, they could face life imprisonment.
- Sailors’ Arrest: Jinchao Wei and another sailor based in California were arrested on espionage charges, accused of providing China with sensitive military details, including information on wartime exercises, naval operations, and critical technical material.
- Mother’s Involvement: Wei’s mother, living in Wisconsin, was aware of her son’s espionage activities and allegedly encouraged him to continue, hoping it would help him get a job with China’s Communist Party after his time in the U.S. Navy. Wei has reportedly made $10,000 to $15,000 from the arrangement in the past year.
- Legal Proceedings and Indictment: The case has been taken seriously by the U.S. government, with the Assistant U.S. Attorney urging for Wei’s continued detention. Wei was charged under the Espionage Act, and the indictment includes allegations of providing 50 manuals with data about Navy ships and details about Marines’ training and numbers.
- Additional Charged Sailor: Another sailor, Wenheng Zhao, based north of Los Angeles, was charged with conspiring to collect nearly $15,000 in bribes from a Chinese intelligence officer in exchange for information, photos, and videos involving Navy exercises and operations.
- Potential Consequences: The leaked information, including plans for a large-scale U.S. military exercise in the Indo-Pacific region, was said to have put thousands of sailors at risk. Both Wei and Zhao face severe legal penalties if convicted, with potential sentences of up to life in prison.