A Chinese researcher was sentenced in federal court in Boston on Wednesday after pleading guilty to making false statements to the federal government about attempting to smuggle nearly 20 medical vials to China, prosecutors said.
Zaosong Zheng, a 31-year-old Chinese national, was issued time served for stealing 19 vials containing biological research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, according to a statement from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office of Massachusetts. He was also ordered to leave the United States and sentenced to three years of supervised release, authorities said.
Zheng pleaded guilty in December 2020 to one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements, according to the statement.
Authorities said approximately one year earlier Zheng had been arrested at Boston’s Logan Internation Airport after he was caught by authorities with stolen vials containing biological contents related to cancer research from the Boston hospital.
Zheng told federal officers he did not have any biological items or research when questioned, but he later admitted he had taken the vials from Beth Israel. He told the officers he intended to use the stolen research to conduct his own studies in China in his own laboratory and publish the results under his own name, according to the statement. (RELATED: Swalwell Refuses To Discuss Relationship With Chinese Spy Who Had Affairs With Two US Mayors)
He was charged by a criminal complaint, authorities said.
Zheng had been held in home detention since his initial release from custody, according to a report from AP.
His lawyer said he expected to board a flight home to China Wednesday, the outlet reported.