A former U.S. army sergeant tried to pass off classified national security information to Chinese authorities, prosecutors alleged Friday.
Joseph Daniel Schmidt, 29, was charged with attempt to deliver national defense information and retention of national defense information.
After leaving the military, Schmidt allegedly reached out to the Chinese consulate in Turkey and Chinese security officials offering to share national defense information.
He allegedly had a 23-page Microsoft Word document titled “High Level Secrets” in Chinese characters.
Another document was titled “Important Information to Share with Chinese Government,” according to a court filing.
Schmidt also allegedly searched for Reddit pages related to spying, and Googled “countries that dont extradite” and “can you be extradited for treason.”
He traveled to Hong Kong in 2020 and allegedly offered to provide Chinese authorities a device that allows access to secure military computer networks.
He returned to the U.S. this week, when he was arrested at the San Francisco airport.