SAN FRANCISCO -- The Latest on a U.S. tour operator accused of spying for China (all times local):
A U.S. judge has denied bail and the services of a public defender to a California tour operator charged with carrying national security documents to officials in China.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Corley on Wednesday said Xuehua Edward Peng was a flight risk.
Corley said she wasn’t satisfied that the presence of his wife and two young daughters in the San Francisco Bay Area was enough to keep him from fleeing to China, where authorities say he has money, an apartment and a mistress.
The judge also told Peng to get a new attorney because he has too many assets to qualify for a free federal public defender. Peng has not entered a plea.
Prosecutors say Peng participated in anonymous drops where he left money in hotel rooms in exchange for documents on a digital card provided by a person secretly working with the FBI.
A California tour operator is appearing in U.S. court on charges of carrying national security documents to officials in China.
Prosecutors say Xuehua Edward Peng participated in anonymous drops where he left money in hotel rooms in exchange for documents on a digital card provided by a person secretly working with the FBI.
Authorities said Peng would take the card and travel to Beijing to meet Chinese intelligence officers.
The 56-year-old Peng was arrested Friday at his Hayward home in the San Francisco Bay Area and ordered held without bond. He returned to court Wednesday.
The criminal complaint says Peng is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
The federal public defender’s office, which is representing him, did not return messages seeking comment.