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Former Intelligence Official Charged With Espionage

Seattle Tacoma International Airport
Seattle Tacoma International Airport

A former U.S. intelligence officer is being charged with attempted espionage for trying to sell secrets to China.

Federal prosecutors said Monday that 58-year-old Utah resident Ron Rockwell Hansen was paid up to $800,000 for passing along technology and information about U.S. military and intelligence issues.

Their 41-page felony complaint accuses Hansen of attending U.S. trade conferences on behalf of China and sharing information he gathered. It also claims he sold forensic software to China in violation of export controls.

He was arrested Saturday on his way to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and charged with attempting to gather defense information, structuring money transactions and smuggling goods from the U.S. The FBI says he was on his way to board a flight to China.

If convicted, he faces life in prison.

No attorney was listed for Hansen.