Defendant was a former officer and contractor the CIA, living and operating a consulting business in Loudoun County, Virginia. Allegedly, the defendant gave consultations to certain Chinese nationals, then contacted the CIA claiming he met with Chinese intelligence officers. When the defendant came to meet with the CIA, he instead met a number of FBI agents. The FBI agents searched the defendant's electronic devices, which showed the defendant transmitted a few classified documents to the Chinese nationals. The FBI then arrested the defendant. At the arraignment, the magistrate allowed bail, on the condition that the defendant surrenders his passport and is placed under house arrest. The government appealed the bond.
The District Court reversed. The court noted that the defendant posed a uniquely heightened flight risk as a former intelligence officer, and espionage is a uniquely serious crime that posed a significant danger to the community. Accordingly, the court ordered the defendant to be detained pre-trial.
The law involved is a fairly straightforward one, but hoo boy, these facts! As a D.C.-area resident, it is nice to be reminded that all kinds of intrigue surround my neck of the woods.
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