DOJ: Former Intelligence Officer Arrested On Attempted Espionage, Taken Into Custody While Flying To China

A former Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) officer was arrested Saturday afternoon on 15 federal charges, including the attempted transmission of national defense information to the People's Republic of China, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Ron Rockwell Hanson, 58, a resident of Syracuse, Utah, was taken into custody while he was on his way to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle before boarding a connecting flight to China.  Hanson's arrest comes on the heels of a January incident in which ex-CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, was arrested at New York's John F. Kennedy airport and indicted last month on charges of spying for China.

According to court documents: 

  • Hansen retired from the U.S. Army as a Warrant Officer with a background in signals intelligence and human intelligence.  He speaks fluent Mandarin-Chinese and Russian.  DIA hired Hansen as a civilian intelligence case officer in 2006.  Hansen held a Top Secret clearance for many years, and signed several non-disclosure agreements during his tenure at DIA and as a government contractor.
  • Between 2013 and 2017, Hansen regularly traveled between the United States and China, attending military and intelligence conferences in the U.S. and provided the information he learned at the conferences to contacts in China associated with the PRCIS.  Hansen received payments for this information by a variety of methods, including cash, wires and credit card transactions.  He also improperly sold export-controlled technology to persons in China.  From May of 2013 to the date of the complaint, Hansen received not less than $800,000 in funds originating from China.
  • In addition, Hansen repeatedly attempted to regain access to classified information after he stopped working on behalf of the U.S. Government.  Hansen’s alerting behavior ultimately resulted in the participation of a law enforcement source from whom Hansen solicited classified information.  Hansen disclosed to the source his ongoing contact with the PRCIS, including in-person meetings with intelligence officers during his trips to China.  Hansen told the source the types of information his contacts in China were interested in and discussed working with the source to provide such information to the PRCIS.  Hansen suggested he and the source would be handsomely paid.     

The charges were announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney John Huber for the District of Utah, and Special Agent in Charge Eric Barnhart of the FBI’s Salt Lake City Field Office. 

“These allegations are very troubling in their description of conduct that runs contrary to how we identify ourselves as Americans,” said U.S. Attorney Huber.  “On the other hand, revealed details of this lengthy investigation reflect effective performance and dedication on the part of the men and women of the FBI and their partners.”

“The allegations in this complaint are grave as it appears Mr. Hansen engaged in behavior that betrayed his oath and his country,” said Special Agent in Charge Barnhart.  “This case drives home the troubling reality of insider threats and that current and former clearance holders will be targeted by our adversaries.  The FBI will aggressively investigate individuals who put our national security at risk.”

The DOJ notes that Hanson faces life in prison, and is presumed innocent "unless or until convicted" of the allegations.

“Ron Rockwell Hansen is a former Defense Intelligence Agency officer who allegedly attempted to transmit national defense information to the People's Republic of China's intelligence service (PRCIS) and also allegedly received hundreds of thousands of dollars while illegally acting as an agent of China,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers.  “His alleged actions are a betrayal of our nation's security and the American people and are an affront to his former intelligence community colleagues.  Our intelligence professionals swear an oath to protect our country’s most closely held secrets and the National Security Division will continue to relentlessly pursue justice against those who violate this oath.”


LetThemEatRand Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:03 Permalink

Was he offering the blueprints for the new design for the Apple phone?  Or the new Ford Explorer?  Or the guts of a new missile system made in China but assembled in the US?  Serious stuff to give away that kind of IP to the Chinese.  

popeye beemasters Tue, 06/05/2018 - 02:01 Permalink

Is it possible for an intelligence operative to be this stupid? And if so, what does that say about the quality of US "intelligence" agencies (probably reflective of others)?

So in a nutshell this is either an inaccurate portrayal of the facts, or some intelligence agency employees are peculiarly stupid, meaning expectations re their output should be set at a low level.


In reply to by beemasters

ConnectingTheDots espirit Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:39 Permalink

espirit wrote: "Didn't we used to shoot treasonous fucks?" and many others on this comment list are calling for execution.

Sad to hear ZH people talking this way. So you are assuming that everything you read is the truth?

Which alphabet agency provided this truth?

Have they ever provided false stories to the media before?

Have these agencies ever hacked a person's computer?

Is there any agenda going on here?

Have any of these agencies ever planted physical evidence?

Have any of these agencies ever lied under oath?

With so many questions, perhaps one should not jump to conclusions and cry "crucify him" before the "story" has been properly vetted. 

In reply to by espirit

roddy6667 ConnectingTheDots Mon, 06/04/2018 - 23:06 Permalink

I read another story where a Chinese scientist was nabbed carrying all kinds of top secret information paperwork on his way to China.My first thought was "paperwork??????" WTF?

Who uses paper any more? It is too easy to encrypt stolen info and transmit it around the world unseen. The problem is that you can't plant encrypted archived information on a patsy and make it look believable. Planted paperwork is hard to deny.

Twenty years ago when we used IRC a lot for chat and there were encrypted message boards. Everybody could see all these messages, but only the recipient could read them. I asked a veteran IRC software guy who uses these boards. He answered "Spies. Nobody uses a physical dead drop any more." That was back in the Nineties.

In reply to by ConnectingTheDots

Dilluminati espirit Mon, 06/04/2018 - 22:05 Permalink

I wasn't offended and think drawn and quartered is more appropriate..  

I was at a recent high school graduation, and there were the kids doing their best, avoiding being slackers and excuse makers and joined the service or the guard

And I think of this cocksucker selling technology that can get these kids injured or killed by some communist cocksuckers

I think we should get back to public executions or if you will spectacle executions...

what really sucks is this sounds all too much like white collar crime which should be a reason to make sure just a few bankers do time..

but the cocksucker should die, if anything allow the service members an "option" to watch, really anybody can change the channel if that offends them

In reply to by espirit

Dilluminati I am Groot Mon, 06/04/2018 - 22:16 Permalink

facesat by Hillary is cruel and unusual.. unusual to be sure

but I read this and thought of kids awaiting their diplomas after they got off stage.. playing along and behaving one last time, and the announced reporting for duty dates at the local HS and I think the cocksucker deserves death..

You can google me.. I always felt the same for manning and the cunt in a embassy also

People who join can't put a knife in the back of the others.. nothing ever, ever admirable about that..

I hope manning kills "itself" and Obama was wrong to pardon that piece of shit


In reply to by I am Groot

yvhmer I am Groot Tue, 06/05/2018 - 03:05 Permalink

Given the excruciating suffering the list of devices you so proudly espoused inflicts on human beings,  it reflects quite a medieval outlook. 

But the kicker is Hillary's pussy facesitting . It shows an outlook of... .I think I might have exhausted my vocabulary here to describe... No I am not going to do that...

After all she's done you want to punish her by having her facesitting her pussy? She would love that shit!



In reply to by I am Groot

SoDamnMad espirit Tue, 06/05/2018 - 01:13 Permalink

Good job FBI/DOJ.   This guy bleeds us dry of intelligence to China for years before you final nab him as he is about to leave.  Where is the $800,000? Offshore.  We spend billions developing stuff and this dick is passing it to the Chinese as fast as he can. Death penalty to set an example. Better. Send him to Gitmo where he won't have the benefit of justice.  

In reply to by espirit

pc_babe DavidFL Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:56 Permalink

uhhh .. bill and his money-grubbing bride were never that altruistic ... they got money for it. Make no mistake.

It was a whole lot more profitable than writing-off his used underwear to charity.

In fact the whole ordeal was so simple, they expanded the pay to play when she was Sec State and he ran the Clinton F*cknations. Easy peasy. ...and the donors said thank you!

In reply to by DavidFL

Posa LetThemEatRand Mon, 06/04/2018 - 22:31 Permalink

If you want to assemble products in China, you have to relinquish product blueprints to Chinese industrial engineers and process engineers. Therefore, it doesn't take a huge espionage ring to acquire US product designs. Nor does reverse engineering require  sophisticated IP theft. But corporate America predators can't help themselves ... they give away all their product designs to the Chinese so they can pocket wage differences between the Chinese police state workers and free US workers. And they acquiesce to Chinese demands to access the Chinese market. So please, you greedy bastards, STFU... you've dug your own grave.

In reply to by LetThemEatRand

korupt.ct LetThemEatRand Tue, 06/05/2018 - 00:01 Permalink

Beware, my fellow citizens, of the People's Republic of China. Many ZH'rs and Washington pols are oblivious to their not-so-secret contempt for our nation and our principles. Like every Marxist nation which came before them, they seek not just to overtake us economically, but overtake us. Period.


The West succeeded in defeating the Soviet Empire mainly by refusing to trade with them, thus largely keeping our high technology out of their hands and containing their economic potential. It worked. It is why Trump should rescind MFN trade status with China immediately; certainly until they abandon the counterfeit South China Sea "islands", cease and decist their abhorrent human rights violations, and release ALL political prisoners.



In reply to by LetThemEatRand

DavidFL Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:03 Permalink

Great , sounds like a bunch of petty BS - I would much rather see Comey, Lynch, Brennen, Clapper, et al, charged with treason. The focus of DOJ is far from the mark!

LaugherNYC DavidFL Mon, 06/04/2018 - 21:14 Permalink

Huber is also the Prosecutor Sessions put in charge of going after all the Dem/HRC traitors in the DOJ/FBI who broke the law for the Klingon Kabal.

Where is that IG Report, already? Gonna redact it all so we can’t see what was going on??

In reply to by DavidFL