A California man who worked as an engineer for a defense contractor was arrested for espionage, the U.S. Department of Justice announced on Friday. Gregory Allen Justice allegedly sold secret satellite information to an undercover FBI agent who he thought was a foreign intelligence representative. Justice was working on military and commercial satellites at the time.
According to an affidavit supporting a criminal complaint, Justice stole documents containing trade secrets including satellite information, and technical data regarding munitions. Justice then allegedly turned the documents over to an undercover agent in exchange for cash payments. He is being charged with economic espionage, which carries a 15-year maximum sentence, as well as violating the Arms Export Control Act, for which he faces up to 20 years.
“Mr. Justice allegedly placed his own interests of greed over our national security by providing information on sensitive U.S. technologies to a person whom he believed was a foreign agent,” Assistant Attorney General John Carlin said. “In the wrong hands, this information could be used to harm the United States and its allies.”
Justice was arrested on Thursday, and he appeared before a federal judge in California that afternoon. The District Court judge ordered that he be detained until his trial.