A Chinese scientist who worked as a contractor for NASA was arrested yesterday on a plane about to leave for China.
Agents learned Friday that Jiang was to return to China on a one-way ticket Saturday, the affidavit said. He flew from Norfolk to Dulles International Airport outside Washington, where he boarded a plane bound for Beijing. Federal agents pulled him off the flight and searched his belongings. During what they called a “consensual encounter,” the agents asked Jiang what electronic media he had with him. He told an agent from the Department of Homeland Security that he had a cellphone, a memory stick, an external hard drive and a new computer.
But during the search, according to the affidavit, agents found an additional laptop, an old hard drive and a portable memory chip called a SIM card. He was arrested, and made his initial court appearance Monday.
It appears that the restrictions Congress placed on hiring foreign nationals had some merit. Moreover, it appears that the accusation by one congressman that NASA has been trying to circumvent those restrictions is true.