U.S. Defense Contractor Charged With Spying

Benjamin Pierce Bishop allegedly hid his relationship with a Chinese woman from the government even though his position and security clearance requires him to report contact with foreign nationals.

Audrey McAvoy / AP

U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni speaks at a news conference in Honolulu on Monday, March 18, 2013, to announce authorities have charged a U.S. Pacific Command defense contractor with giving defense secrets to a Chinese woman he was romantically involved with.

HONOLULU (AP) — A defense contractor who works in intelligence at the U.S. Pacific Command has been charged with giving national security secrets to a 27-year-old Chinese woman he was dating, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday.

Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 59, is accused of sending the woman an email last May with information on existing war plans, nuclear weapons and U.S. relations with international partners, according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Honolulu.

The complaint alleged Bishop told the woman over the telephone in September about the deployment of U.S. strategic nuclear systems and about the ability of the U.S. to detect other nations’ low- and medium-range ballistic missiles.

Bishop met the woman at a conference in Hawaii on international military defense issues, the complaint said. It did not specify when the conference was held, but it alleged the two began an intimate, romantic relationship in June 2011.

Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 12:53 a.m.:

KHON releases photo of Benjamin Pierce Bishop.

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