The ex-soldier online searches made the US intelligence suspicious about his intentions, the BBC reported.
The suspect was arrested from the San Francisco airport after arriving from Hong Kong.
Suspect Tried To Defect To China
The 29-year-old suspect named Joseph Schmidt served in the US army from 2015 to 2020.
Joseph worked at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in western Washington and had access to classified information.
He attempted to defect to China and made some searches online on how to do so. Investigators said Joseph also offered his services as an interrogator to the Chinese consulate.
Joseph Had Secret Documents
According to the prosecutors, Joseph had access to classified information which he saved in his pc.
One of the titles was named “important information to share with the Chinese government”, investigators said. He also visited intelligence websites which further clarified his intentions.