Judge orders Reedley lab operator to remain locked up

Federal prosecutors revealed several details surrounding Zhu in court on Wednesday.

A judge ruled Wednesday that Jia Bei Zhu, the operator of the secret Reedley biolab, will remain in jail due to being an extreme flight risk. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stanley Boone denied bond for Zhu, taking into account the government’s arguments that he could flee the country given that he is a Chinese national. 


Details emerge: Federal prosecutor Joe Barton told the court that Zhu lied about having contact with his children and the value of his assets to pre-trial detention agents. 

  • According to Barton, Zhu recently had a son, identified as “Wang,” with a woman he is not married to. 
  • The child and the woman recently took a one-way flight to China, something Barton pointed to as a reason why Zhu could be a flight risk. 
  • While Zhu allegedly told pre-trial officers that he only had $10,000 to $20,000 in assets, Barton said Zhu owns several homes and condos in Las Vegas. He also owns a home that he rents out in Clovis, meaning his total assets are worth millions of dollars. 

What they’re saying: Zhu’s lawyer Tony Capozzi told GV Wire that Zhu has not had any involvement with the Chinese government. 

  • That’s contrary to what the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party reported last week, saying Zhu had received payments from the Chinese government. 

What we’re watching: Zhu’s next court date will be on Jan. 10 for a status conference. 

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