Ron Hansen

15 March: Ron Rockwell Hansen, 58, has agreed to a plea bargain at a Utah federal court. He has now pleaded guilty to a charge of spying for China. The charges he was facing carried a maximum sentence of life imprisonment. Following the guilty plea deal, prosecutors have now recommended a 15 year sentence.

Hansen was arrested by FBI agents on 1 June 2018 while on his way to Seattle airport to get a flight to China. He was formally accused of spying for China and of receiving over $800,000 in payment. At that time Hansen lived in Syracuse, Utah. He had previously served in the Army with top secret clearance. He was recruited by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) in 2006 as a “civilian intelligence case officer”. He is fluent in Russian and Mandarin and regularly travelled between the US and China between 2013 and 2017. He was caught because he repeatedly tried to gain access to classified information even though he had stopped working for the US government. He was also accused of money and technology transfer offences.

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