Five men were indicted this week by a federal grand jury for their participation in a “transnational suppression scheme” that was orchestrated in China by the People’s Republic of China to silence American critics of China’s communist government.
According to the Justice Department one defendant is currently a federal law enforcement officers while the other retired.
” Among other things, the defendants are accused of plotting to destroy artwork belonging to a PRC citizen living in Los Angeles. They also planted surveillance equipment at the artist’s place of work and in his car in order to spy from the PRC,” stated the DOJ press statement .
Fan Liu (PRC) and Matthew Ziburis (PRC) were both arrested in March. Qiang Sun, another accomplice, is still at large.
Liu and Ziburis were arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint in March 2022, while Sun remains at large. This week, Craig Miller, and Derrick Taylor were added to the indictment. Both of them worked in federal law enforcement.
According to the press release
Miller is a 15-year employee of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), currently assigned as a deportation officer to DHS’s Emergency Relief Operations in Minneapolis, and Taylor is a retired DHS law enforcement agent who presently works as a private investigator in Irvine, California.
Miller, Taylor were charged with obstruction and destruction of evidence. They were questioned by FBI agents about the procurement and dissemination sensitive information from a federal law enforcement database pertaining to U.S. dissidents from China.
Both Miller and Taylor were arrested pursuant to a criminal complaint in June 2022.
Assistant attorney general for national security Matthew G. Olsen stated that five individuals sought to suppress “free speech” and political expression in the United States, at the request of a foreign power.
” These individuals were charged with aiding agents of a foreign country in suppressing dissenting voices that have sought refuge here,” stated Olsen. Two sworn officers of law enforcement were among the defendants. They chose to disregard their oaths in order to violate the law .”
The Eastern District of New York’s Attorney Breon Peace said that U.S. police officers helped and encouraged a multi-faceted campaign to harass, discredit, silence and spy on U.S. citizens exercising freedom of speech .”
Peace also claimed that two PRC officials gave the collaborators confidential information regarding U.S. citizens from a restricted database. Then, they destroyed all evidence of wrongdoing and were confronted with law enforcement.
Five Men Indicted for Crimes Related to Transnational Repression Scheme to Silence Critics of the People’s Republic of China Residing in the United States @NewYorkFBI https://t.co/99SdoOKIZq pic.twitter.com/6JJs4LlAe9
— FBI (@FBI) July 7, 2022
View the full report here.