Crime and Safety

DOJ Reveals Charges for Over a Dozen Alleged Enemy Spies

Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Monday that the Department of Justice is charging 13 individuals for their alleged participation in schemes connected to Chinese intelligence in the United States.

Garland announced the charges in a news conference at the Justice Department in Washington, with the DOJ describing the matter in a Monday news release as a “significant national security” investigation.

The DOJ indicated that two of the alleged spies have been arrested, while the other suspects remain at large.

The charges involve three separate criminal cases, two of which are being prosecuted in the DOJ’s Eastern District of New York and the third filed in the District of New Jersey.

One set of charges involved information obtained from a double agent — who the Justice Department describes as working for the FBI, even as agents of the People’s Republic of China believed his allegiances belonged with the Communist dictatorship

The double agent met with suspected Chinese intelligence officers who allegedly sought insider information on a criminal probe into a Chinese-controlled telecommunications company.

In another case, alleged Chinese agents are accused of harassing a Chinese-born American resident with the intent of bullying the person into returning to China, even appearing at the target’s New York home.

The home visits amounted to “harassment and attempted repatriation by force” of the victim, according to the DOJ.

Seven defendants face charges in connection to the home visits.

Two have pleaded not guilty, and five are at large in China, according to NBC News.

The final set of charges identifies four Chinese nationals who allegedly sought to recruit American academics and federal law enforcement to work as Chinese state agents.

The recruiters of U.S. citizens allegedly tried to ensnare Americans into working for China from 2008 to 2018, according to the DOJ’s news release.

FBI Director Christopher Wray pointed to the indictments as evidence that the United States government is working tirelessly against the potent threat of Chinese espionage.

“Beijing may think our adherence to the rule of law is a weakness, but they’re wrong,” the FBI director said. “We’re disrupting Chinese government criminality and aggression not just while adhering to our values, but by adhering to our values.

“Our democratic and legal processes arm us with weapons China doesn’t have — among others, real partners and allies. And our partnerships help protect the American people every day.”

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