UCLA researcher arrested amid investigation into alleged China ties

  • A UCLA researcher has been arrested for allegedly throwing away a damaged hard drive.
  • Federal officials said he disposed of the hard drive while being investigated for transferring sensitive U.S. data to China.

A Chinese national and University of California-Los Angeles researcher has been arrested for allegedly throwing away a damaged hard drive while the FBI was investigating him for transferring sensitive U.S. data to China’s National University of Defense Technology. 

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that 29-year-old Guan Lei "falsely den[ied] his association with the Chinese military" during interviews with federal law enforcement officials. Lei has since admitted that he participated in Chinese military training. 

According to authorities, one of Lei's faculty advisors in China also served in the Chinese military. 

[RELATED: Texas A&M prof, NASA researcher arrested for alleged China ties]

The Justice Department further alleged that Lei hid digital files from federal law enforcement and lied about having contact with the Chinese consulate during his time in the U.S. 

Lei faces one felony count of destruction of evidence, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. 

In a statement to Campus Reform, UCLA spokesman Bill Kisliuk said "UCLA has cooperated fully with federal agents in this investigation." 

[RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Inside the Trump administration's plan to combat China and protect free speech]

The Justice Department's announcement comes just days after it announced the arrest of a Texas A&M professor for his alleged ties to China. 

In recent months, Campus Reform has covered multiple arrests of college professors and researchers who have been arrested over their alleged connections to the Chinese Communist Party. 

Read Campus Reform's full coverage of the China threat to U.S. college campuses by visiting CampusReform.org/China

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Jon Street
Jon Street | Managing Editor

Jon Street is a news editor for Campus Reform. Six years ago, Jon cut his reporting teeth fresh out of college as an intern at Media Research Center's CNSNews.com, where he interviewed multiple members of Congress and former presidential candidates. From there, he went on to complete a stint at Watchdog.org, where his exclusive, investigative work was picked up or cited by the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox News, National Review, and the Drudge Report, among others. More recently, Jon spent three years as an assistant editor at TheBlaze.com. In his free time, Jon enjoys trying new coffeehouses around the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and traveling back to his home state of Missouri to spend time with his family.

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