Five men, including a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent, were indicted Wednesday for allegedly engaging in a scheme to target China’s dissidents in the U.S., the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced Thursday.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agent Craig Miller and retired DHS agent Derrick Taylor face obstruction of justice charges after they allegedly destroyed evidence after FBI agents approached them and asked how they obtained and disseminated “sensitive and confidential information from a restricted federal law enforcement database” involving Chinese dissidents in the U.S., according to the DOJ.
“This case exposes attempts by the government of the PRC to suppress dissenting voices within the United States. Actions taken by the defendants – two of which are current or former federal law enforcement officers – demonstrate how the PRC seeks to stalk, intimidate, and silence those who oppose it,” Assistant Director Alan E. Kohler Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division said in a statement.
Miller and Taylor lied to the FBI about their past conduct, according to court documents, and Miller deleted text messages with Taylor while the FBI was interviewing him. Additionally, Taylor asked a co-conspirator to keep evidence from the U.S. government and lied to the FBI by saying he got the evidence from a friend, who found it on the “Black Dark Web.”
After facing pressure from the FBI, Miller admitted that Taylor gave him names to search in law enforcement databases, who sent him the results in exchange for a gift card, according to the DOJ.
“The FBI battles transnational repression because it is an evil in its own right, and an assault on the freedoms of an open society,” Kohler said. “Our community’s safety and our nation’s security were jeopardized by this criminal behavior, and we remain dedicated to combating transnational repression and bringing to justice those that perpetrate it.”
Chinese defendants Fan “Frank” Liu, 62, of Jericho, New York; Matthew Ziburis, 49, of Oyster Bay, New York; and Qiang “Jason” Sun, 40, allegedly conducted the operation to target Chinese dissidents and allegedly planned to destroy the artwork of a Chinese national living in Los Angeles, who had been critical of the Chinese Communist government. The group also allegedly put surveillance equipment in the dissident’s workplace and car to spy from China, according to the DOJ.
Sun remains at large, while the others were arrested, according to the DOJ.
Neither the DOJ or DHS responded to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.
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