Leesburg man charged with giving top-secret documents to Chinese agent

A Leesburg man has been charged with sharing top-secret documents with a Chinese agent.

Federal prosecutors said 60-year-old Kevin Mallory was arrested on Thursday and made an initial appearance in federal court in Alexandria.

The Department of Justice said Mallory is a self-employed consultant with GlobalEx. Court records indicate he's an Army veteran and former special agent for the Diplomatic Security Service at the U.S. State Department.

Mallory, who speaks fluent Mandarin, had obtained a top-secret security clearance, but it was terminated in October of 2012 when he left government service, according to officials.

Court documents said Mallory traveled to Shanghai in March and April to meet with a person he thought worked for a Chinese think tank.

After reviewing Mallory's communication with the Chinese agent, federal officials said they found that Mallory had transmitted a top-secret document and two secret documents.

Court documents indicate Mallory received $25,000 from individuals he thought were Chinese operatives.

Mallory was charged with gathering or delivering defense information to aid a foreign government, and making material false statements.

The FBI's Counterintelligence Division has been in charge of this investigation since April. Investigators said Mallory agreed to a volunteer interview with FBI agents and it was then that agents believe the 60-year-old lied to investigators.

Mallory's Leesburg home was raided by FBI agents on Thursday. For a large part of the afternoon, an FBI K-9 tracked the front yard of the home for electronics. Neighbors said a year ago, they noticed Mallory had dug a large hole in his property, which they then believed was used to fix a broken pipe. But following Thursday's raid in this quiet golf course community, neighbors are now unsure what exactly that hole was used for.

A release from the Department of Justice said Mallory could face life in prison if convicted, but prosecutor John Gibbs said at the hearing that he could ask for the death penalty if certain conditions are met.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.