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[ISN] Pacific Command contractor charged in espionage case


Hawaii News Now
March 19, 2013

A defense contractor living in Kapolei is accused of leaking U.S. military secrets. The Army reservist with a top secret security clearance allegedly shared classified data with his girlfriend who is a Chinese national. Court documents revealed that Benjamin Pierce Bishop, 59, met the 27-year-old in Hawaii at a conference on international military defense. Investigators said the woman may have been at the conference to target individuals who have access to classified information. According to sources, Bishop works for defense contractor Referentia Systems Incorporated at the U.S. Pacific Command.

"Mr. Bishop was arrested last Friday at the U.S. Pacific Command headquarters here in Honolulu without any incident," said U.S. Attorney Florence Nakakuni.

According to an affidavit by an FBI special agent, Bishop leaked classified information to the woman who is living in the U.S. on a student visa. Bishop is accused of hiding their romantic relationship from the U.S. government. One email allegedly contained data on existing war plans, nuclear weapons, and relations with international partners. He is also accused of discussing detection of foreign ballistic missiles and the deployment of early warning radar systems in the Pacific Rim.

"The arrest of Mr. Bishop is just the first step in what is going to be a long process, and we are actively continuing the investigation to determine the roles of all those involved in this case," Nakakuni said.


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