Chinese Man Sentenced After Stealing Vials From BIDMC Lab

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Chinese man was sentenced in a federal court in Boston Wednesday for making false statements in connection with 19 vials of biological research he stole from a lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

According to U.S. Attorney Andrew Leling's office, 31-year-old Zaosong Zheng entered the U.S. in August 2018 on a J-1 visa. He conducted cancer-cell research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston from September 2018 to December 9th 2019. The next day, Zheng was arrested at Boston Logan International Airport, and charged by criminal complaint.

"On December 9th 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," Leling's office said. "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, he lied and answered 'no.'"

In December 2020, Zheng pleaded guilty to one count of making false, fictitious or fraudulent statements. He later admitted to having stolen the vials from a lab at Beth Israel, and said he intended to bring them to China to use them to conduct research in his own laboratory and publish the results under his own name.

Zheng was sentenced to time served, which was approximately 87 days, as well as three years of supervised release, and he was ordered removed from the United States.

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Written by Brit Smith

(Photo: Getty Images)

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