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Makakilo man accused of espionage pleads guilty

By Rob Shikina

LAST UPDATED: 07:36 p.m. HST, Mar 13, 2014

A defense contractor pleaded guilty Thursday to giving military secrets to his Chinese girlfriend and faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced this summer.

Benjamin Bishop, 60, told U.S. District Magistrate Judge Kevin Chang that he "spoke too much" in an email and brought classified documents to his home. Bishop was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Wearing a white jumpsuit and chains, Bishop pleaded guilty to communicating national defense information to a person not entitled to receive it and willful retention of national defense information.

His attorney, Birney Bervar, said the case was about love, not espionage, and that Bishop was only trying to help his girlfriend with an assignment. He was arrested last March at the U.S. Pacific Command headquarters, where he worked.

Bishop will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi on June 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count. He was returned to the Federal Detention Center.

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Mei mei wrote:
What a skeeze ball !!!! put him away for good!!
on March 13,2014 | 03:12PM
joseph007 wrote:
Remember his attorney consistently said "we will prove these allegations false at trial". Attorney got his blood money and left.
on March 14,2014 | 08:03AM
kukui_nut wrote:
60 years old with a sweet young girl friend. "Don't condone what he did, but I can understand" (quoting Comedian Chris Rock).
on March 13,2014 | 03:21PM
FrankieT wrote:
No excuse
on March 13,2014 | 03:57PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
Story of my ex after 30 years of marriage! I don't blame him! I blame the young PRC Chinese women going after these older white men! Already married to an older white make when she did it. And UH facilitated it!
on March 13,2014 | 05:23PM
akkman wrote:
Too bad for this "old man" (well 60 is not that old but if you're facing 10 or 20 years of jail plus $250K fines, it is). At his age he should know better but goes to show you how one bad "emotional" decision can ruin your life. I feel sorry for him but he's got to pay the consequences of his actions. Hopefully I can learn from his mistake and not do something stupid like that.
on March 13,2014 | 03:29PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
They should Know better! Bad judgement! But they get taken in my flattery and they pretense at compassion!
on March 13,2014 | 05:24PM
false wrote:
Happens all the time to geezers, no?
on March 13,2014 | 03:52PM
Mythman wrote:
Honey trap?
on March 13,2014 | 04:35PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
on March 13,2014 | 05:24PM
Carang_da_buggahz wrote:
"...Bishop was only trying to help his girlfriend with an assignment." Even my old "My dog chewed up my homework" excuse from small kid time sounds more credible than this cockamamie fairy tale.
on March 13,2014 | 04:40PM
2disgusted2 wrote:
My woman makes 75-80k in a job she can't do where these two older men help her all the time! Writing, rewriting, editing, giving her ideas, sometimes even my ideas! Maybe we shd put some kind of immigration control on these women entering from the PRC, the Philippines etc etc..so sad! Our family all destroyed! Just like this poor old man!
on March 13,2014 | 05:28PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Carang on fairy tale. I agree the fairy tale was the lamest excuse since I was in high school. This guy will be out of jail in 4-6 years for good behavior. He will be a multimillionaire when he gets out because of the retirement pay he will forfeit. That had to be part of the bargaining he made with the Chinese. No one would give up his retirement pay, his country plus sacrifice two years of his life in jail for a piece of a$$. Paying $5-10Million for secrets is cheaper to the Chinese than fighting a war with the US that could cost $Trillions.
on March 14,2014 | 09:16PM
sailfish1 wrote:
"trying to help his girlfriend with an assignment" - Her assignment was to con an old fool for defense secrets.
on March 13,2014 | 05:32PM
Geb wrote:
Classic example of the small head doing all the thinking for the big head.
on March 13,2014 | 06:03PM
Papakolea wrote:
I have a question: Does anyone know what happened to the girlfriend? Was she really a spy or was she really just getting information for a college project? It's strange that there are no public reports of what happened to her.
on March 13,2014 | 06:44PM
2NDC wrote:
She's in Federal custody. No news media outlets will talk about this.
on March 14,2014 | 12:38AM
pcman wrote:
She undoubtedly will get off in a plea agreement as a government witness. She will probably get deported if she is a Chinese on a student visa. She was not the spy but the bait for the spy. She, plus many other women, get paid for doing the spy's baiting and middleman work. Bishop (the source) probably never met the actual spy. The women who work for spies can't squeal for risk of their lives. The US government knows that so they just try to get the US "source" to prevent others from selling US defense and military secrets.
on March 14,2014 | 09:37PM
SteveToo wrote:
Is his house up for a quick cheap sale?
on March 13,2014 | 09:02PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Steve on house. If he has a mortgage, eventually it will be taken bank and sold by the bank. If it is jointly owned the other owner might sell it to pay the taxes and mortgage. Maybe it has already been sold to pay for his lawyers and agents, although the Chinese will eventually reimburse him for those expenses. When it comes to giving up secrets, not necessarily spying, the person giving up the secrets is well paid and everything is well planned. Nothing happens by chance. The same applies to Snowden.
on March 14,2014 | 09:52PM
pcman wrote:
IRT Carang on fairy tale. I agree this is the lamest excuse I have heard since I was in grade school. Bishop will be out in 2-5 years for good behavior, not to mention he will be in a low security prison living the life of a relatively free man. He undoubtedly will be paid well by the Chinese for giving up his retirement pay, his country and his freedom. He is not doing all this for free. He can change his identity and live anywhere in the world with the millions the Chinese will pay him. For the Chinese, winning the war of information is way cheaper than going to war with the US.
on March 14,2014 | 09:26PM
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