Calif. Tour Guide Charged With Espionage - FbiCables Network | The News that Shapes World Opinion

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Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Calif. Tour Guide Charged With Espionage

A naturalized U.S. citizen from China has been charged for “acting as an illegal foreign agent.” 56-year-old Xuehua Peng, also known as Edward, was working in the San Francisco area as a tour and sightseeing operator. According to evidence collected during an elaborate FBI sting operation, however, Peng was providing Chinese officials with classified information related to the national security of the U.S.
“The complaint alleges that Peng’s activities to expose the United States went far beyond innocent sightseeing,” stated U.S. attorney David Anderson.
Prosecutors said Peng executed a number of “dead drops,” leaving money in hotel rooms across the country. This was in exchange for encrypted hard drives, which he personally transported to the People’s Republic of China (PRC) between October of 2015 and June of 2018.
US attorney David Anderson announces criminal spy charges against a San Francisco Bay Area tour operator Xuehua Edward Peng Monday, Sept. 30, 2019, in San Francisco. Xuehua Edward Peng, who operates tours for Chinese students and visitors, was charged with being an illegal foreign agent and delivering classified U.S. national security information to officials in China, U.S. government officials announced Monday. (AP Photo/Janie Har)
“In March 2015, the United States employed a double agent who met with MSS (Ministry of State Security – China) officers in the PRC,” explained attorney Anderson. “The MSS officers instructed the double agent how to provide classified information to Peng, and how to receive payments from him using SD cards and dead drops. ”
According to the U.S. attorney, a hotel in Northern California was used to test the process. Agents left an empty package at a location there, which Peng subsequently showed up to collect. This happened another five times at hotels in the area and as far as Georgia.
Peng has been ordered to return to court in San Francisco Wednesday, October 2, 2019. If convicted, he will serve a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and pay a $250,000 fine.

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