Jia Bei Zhu – a Chinese national who operated the illegal biolab at Reedley in California – appeared Tuesday in federal court and pleaded not guilty on charges of false statements made to federal officers.
Zhu (also known as David He) was arrested in an undercover operation last week. He filed a claim for $80 million against Fresno County, and the City of Reedley. This was because they “destroyed” his lab materials and killed laboratory mice. Zhu’s lawyer told a local reporter that Zhu performed “revolutionary work” in the lab that would “benefit mankind” after his court appearance on Tuesday.
The word “revolutionary”, given Zhu’s links to the Chinese Communist Party, might not be the best one to use. His web of 30 corporate entities is tied to an office park run by the CCP in Qingdao.
Reedley bio lab suspect David He pleads not guilty in federal court. Defense attorney Tony Capozzi talked afterward. pic.twitter.com/oX5s72Yv8E
— David Taub (@TaubGVWire) October 24, 2023
Capozzi stated that he had been contacted by an attorney “in Los Angeles” who was Zhu/He’s a civil lawyer and asked him if he could handle the first appearance. Capozzi responded to a question about reports that Zhu had resisted his arrest, leading to a hospital visit between the time of his arrest and when he arrived at the jail.
“I question whether or not he was resisting arrest.” I doubt if he understood the agents’ instructions. According to what I understood, he was instructed to turn around and put his hands up. He did this, but in the report, the agents said that he was confused. They said he didn’t follow their instructions and they tried to grab his hand and push him face-first into the ground. He had a pretty severe injury on his nose and forehead.”
Zhu, as a Chinese national, has the right and responsibility to seek assistance from the Chinese Consulate. Capozzi however said:
We haven’t contacted the Consulate. As far as I am aware, the Chinese government is not involved in any way.
At this point, you are essentially just working and doing research.
The context of the statement is taken out of context by politicians. It’s political language. They are trying to make a big deal out of nothing. You’re not hearing anything about the politics of this case. As we dig deeper, we’ll show you that the government’s press release in this case is not accurate.
Zhu lived in Las Vegas when he was arrested. Capozzi told GV Wire his client thought he was returning to Reedley to meet with someone about the lease of the lab building but was arrested when he arrived.
Capozzi may want to rethink his assertions. According to a report verbally delivered by Reedley’s City manager and Fresno County officials to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors last August, they were not allowed to destroy a single piece of paper when the lab site was being cleaned up. Each document was cataloged and recorded. Some handwritten notes appeared on the letterhead of Ai De Diagnostics – a Chinese manufacturer of In Vitro Diagnostic Tests that Zhu controls
GV Wire reported Capozzi’s further comments:
The government destroyed all of his research. The research that he has been doing will be very useful to mankind. I won’t go into details, but it will be very beneficial. “I can tell you this research is new and revolutionary, and (he has) been doing well with it.”
We will be keeping a close eye on those details. If the research were so important, perhaps Zhu would have lived in Reedley every day and worked in the lab.
Capozzi thinks his client is a meek, misunderstood scientist.
He’s the most intelligent person, but also the quietest. He holds an M.D. He holds a master’s beyond medical school. He got a second degree in research to study DNA, embryos, and other things.
Why is it that Zhu’s research has never been recorded anywhere? This is all a complete mystery.