“The sailors implicated in this case are Jinchao Wei, known as Patrick Wei, and Petty Officer Wenheng Zhao, also known as Thomas Zhao.
“Wei, a 22-year-old sailor assigned to a vessel in San Diego, is facing espionage charges.
“Zhao, a 26-year-old from Monterey Park, California, has been charged with conspiracy and accepting a bribe from a Chinese official.
“Wei was serving on the U.S.S. Essex, an amphibious assault ship based at Naval Base San Diego. He is alleged to have shared photographs and videos of the Essex, disclosed the locations of Navy ships, and provided details about the Essex's defensive weapons to a Chinese intelligence officer. In exchange for this information, he is said to have received thousands of dollars.
“Zhao was stationed at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme and was entrusted with a U.S. security clearance.
“He stands accused of covertly recording U.S. military information, photographs, and videos, and then transmitting them to a Chinese intelligence officer who was posing as a maritime economic researcher.”
All persons are innocent until proven guilty.