A Chinese-born former defense contractor will serve six months of house arrest and five years of probation for lifting classified computer files while working overseas for the U.S. Army.

Wei Chen, 62, of Westfield.┬ánarrowly missed serving one year in federal prison – the term federal prosecutors were seeking. Under a plea agreement, Chen admitted to two criminal counts: damaging an Army computer and making false statements regarding his prior service with the People’s Liberation Army of China.

Chen was working as a computer systems analyst in a war zone in Kuwait in 2013 when he received notice he was set to be transferred to Afghanistan. He copied classified files onto a personal thumb drive for his own convenience. The government was not amused. It launched a full investigation, suspecting Chen may be a Chinese spy.

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Image courtesy of US Army