Retired CIA officer Jerry Chun Shing Lee was arrested for possession of classified documents at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York Monday night, after arriving in the U.S. from Hong Kong, China.
The investigation of Lee, who lives in Hong Kong, dates back at least to 2012, when Lee and his family departed Hong Kong in order to live in northern Virginia, according to a Justice Department press release. During their trip, the family stayed in hotels in Hawaii and Virginia, and the FBI, with court authorization, searched Lee's hotel room and luggage and found that he had materials "relating to the national defense." The DOJ said that agents found two small books with handwritten notes that contained classified information, including names and phone numbers of assets and covert CIA employees, notes from asset meetings, operational meeting locations and covert facilities locations.
Lee appeared in the Eastern District of New York Tuesday afternoon and was charged with unlawful retention of national defense information. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
A U.S. official told CBS News' Andres Triay that it can be inferred that Lee left the U.S. sometime after the 2012 FBI interviews, but before there had been any attempt to arrest him.
Lee waived extradition, and will be brought to Alexandria, Virginia, where he will be prosecuted in a U.S. court.
CBS News' Andres Triay contributed to this report.