MYNORTHWEST NEWS

Ex-JBLM soldier arrested after attempting to spy for China

Oct 6, 2023, 7:28 PM

jblm soldier spy china...

Exterior of Joint Base Lewis-McChord (Photo courtesy of Joint Base Lewis-McChord)

(Photo courtesy of Joint Base Lewis-McChord)

Federal investigators have charged an ex-Army soldier with trying to pass off classified information to China after he left his post here in Western Washington, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Joseph Daniel Schmidt, 29, was stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) from 2015 to 2020. Shortly after leaving the military in 2020, Schmidt allegedly traveled to Hong Kong and tried to pass off U.S. defense information to the Chinese. His primary assignment at JBLM was within the 109th Military Intelligence Battalion.

Related news: Ross asks if it was a Chinese spy balloon, or luxury space travel prototype

“Joseph Daniel Schmidt was once a trusted guardian of our nation’s secrets and swore an oath to defend and protect U.S. national security,” Suzanne Turner, assistant director of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division wrote in a prepared statement. “As alleged by the government, Schmidt betrayed his promise and potentially placed our nation at risk in his attempts to pass national defense information to Chinese security services. The FBI and our partners remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting the American people and U.S. national security.”

Federal investigators stated that when he reached out to China in 2020, he attempted to offer “a device that allows for access to secure military computer networks.” Schmidt also allegedly reached out to the Chinese Consulate in Turkey.

“(It was) a particular type of card that can be used to access secret government networks,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg told KIRO Newsradio.

More on claims of China spying: Australia says Chinese spy ship has been hugging west coast

Schmidt has been in Asia for the past three years and was arrested after he flew into the San Francisco International Airport Thursday night. He faces up to 10 years in prison alongside a fine of up to $250,000 if convicted.

Greenberg, alongside Deputy Chief Matthew J. McKenzie of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, is prosecuting the case.

MyNorthwest News

Photo: The King County Council Law and Justice Committee convened to vote on a motion regarding the...

James Lynch

King County Council sees heated comments over family justice center

The King County Council Law and Justice Committee convened to vote on a motion regarding the Patricia H. Clark Children and Family Justice Center.

7 hours ago

Photo: Police responded to a Kent shooting after a boy died near the Kentwood Apartments....

Julia Dallas

Suspect in custody: 13-year-old boy killed in Kent shooting over camera

A suspect is in custody over the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy that happened July 16 in Kent.

8 hours ago

Netanyahu protesters...

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Netanyahu vows ‘total victory’ while thousands protest outside capitol

Netanyahu addressed Congress in Washington on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the nation's capitol city was filled with protesters.

11 hours ago

7-year-old robbery...

Luke Duecy

7-year-old among group of juveniles wanted for robbery in North Seattle

A group of juveniles, including a 7-year-old, are wanted for robbery in North Seattle after an incident earlier this week.

13 hours ago

Corkscrew stabbing Seattle...

Bill Kaczaraba

Corkscrew used in downtown Seattle stabbing

Seattle Police apprehended a 52-year-old man following a stabbing with a corkscrew near City Hall in downtown Seattle.

14 hours ago

sexual abuse foster washington...

Frank Sumrall

WA to pay $15 million to 3 sisters who were sexually abused in foster home

The State of Washington has agreed to pay $15 million to three sisters who faced sexual abuse at a foster home in Centralia.

14 hours ago

Ex-JBLM soldier arrested after attempting to spy for China