Bo Jiang (NASA researcher)

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Bo Jiang, a contract researcher working on "source code for high technology imaging" at NASA's Langley Research Center, was arrested under a charge of lying to federal officer on March 16, 2013 at Dulles International Airport on his planned one-way journey to return to China. He was accused of espionage by Representative Frank Wolf, and was investigated for possible violations of the Arms Export Control Act.[1] An affidavit claimed that on a prior occasion, Jiang had taken a NASA laptop containing sensitive information to China.[2]

Jiang was released on May 2, 2013, after a plea agreement in which he admitted guilt to a single charge of misuse of Federal office equipment to download copyrighted movies, television shows and pornography.[3]

Arrest and Plea Bargain[edit]

On March 28, 2013, a U.S. Judge ordered Jiang released after a federal prosecutor acknowledged there was no evidence that he possessed any sensitive, secret or classified material.[4] Jiang's lawyer said congressman Wolf was making his client a "scapegoat" and the subject of witch hunt.[5]

On May 2, 2013, prosecutors dropped a felony charge of lying to federal investigators.[6][3] Jiang pleaded guilty to a single misdemeanor count of misusing government office equipment and was sentenced to time served - about seven weeks. In his plea agreement, Jiang acknowledged violating a NASA regulation governing use of government office equipment by downloading copyrighted movies, television shows and sexually explicit images on the NASA-owned laptop.[3]

Two Langley Research Center supervisors were indicted for allowing Jiang access to files on the NASA computer system.[7] However no evidence of espionage was ever presented. One of the NASA supervisors were fined $250 and sentenced to six months probation; the second was released with no penalty.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Lambidakis, Stephanie (19 March 2013). "Update: NASA researcher arrested on China-bound plane". CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  2. ^ Howard, Jacqueline (18 March 2013). "Bo Jiang, Former NASA Contractor, Arrested By FBI On Plane To China". Huffington Post. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Sizemore, Bill (3 May 2013). "Chinese scientist freed after felony case collapses". The Virginian-Pilot. Retrieved 20 July 2018.
  4. ^ Sizemore, Bill (28 March 2013). "Chinese ex-NASA worker to be released pending trial". Hamptonroads. Retrieved 28 March 2013.
  5. ^ Dujardin, Peter (21 March 2013). "Attorney: Former NASA contractor subject of 'witch hunt'". Daily Press. Retrieved 21 March 2013.
  6. ^ "NIA STATEMENT ON THE RELEASE OF DR. BO JIANG". 3 May 2013. Retrieved 10 Nov 2013.
  7. ^ Culberson, John (29 Oct 2015). "Culberson Reaction to Indictment of NASA Supervisors". SpaceRef. Retrieved 29 Oct 2015.