CHINESE TAKEOUT THWARTED BY G-MEN: Chinese Researcher Sentenced for Making False Statements to Federal Agents

Defendant stole vials of biological research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and attempted to take them aboard a flight to China

THE MAN WHO WILL NEVER RETURN – Spy busted, given time served, and sent back to China

BOSTON, MASS.  – A Chinese national was sentenced on January 6, 2020, in federal court in Boston for making false statements in connection with his theft of 19 vials of biological research.

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Zaosong Zheng, 31, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper to time served (approximately 87 days), three years of supervised release, and ordered removed from the United States. In December 2020, Zheng pleaded guilty to one count of making false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements. Zheng was arrested on Dec. 10, 2019, at Boston’s Logan International Airport and charged by criminal complaint.

In August 2018, Zheng entered the United States on a J-1 visa and conducted cancer-cell research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from Sept. 4, 2018, to Dec. 9, 2019. On Dec. 9, 2019, Zheng stole vials of biological research, hid the vials in his luggage, and attempted to take them out of the United States aboard a flight destined for China.

Federal officers at Logan Airport discovered the vials hidden in a sock inside one of Zheng’s bags, and not properly packaged. When asked by federal officers whether he was traveling with any biological items or research, Zheng lied and answered “no.” Zheng later admitted he had stolen the vials from a lab at Beth Israel. Zheng stated that he intended to bring the vials to China to use them to conduct research in his own laboratory and publish the results under his own name.

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