Manhattan Scientist Accused Of Smuggling Seeds Detained

By: Nick Viviani
By: Nick Viviani

KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -- A Chinese scientist accused of taking seeds taken from a private Kansas research facility and passing them off to a visiting delegation from China will remain in federal custody at least until his next court appearance.

Weiqiang Zhang, an agricultural seed breeder at a biopharmaceutical production facility in Junction City, is charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets. He's accused of taking proprietary seeds from the facility and giving them to visiting Chinese agriculture officials this summer.

A federal judge in Kansas City, Kan., on Tuesday ordered Zhang detained, but said he'd consider substantial bail amounts at Zhang's next court appearance Dec. 30.

Zhang and a co-defendant from China who worked at a U.S. Department of Agriculture facility in Arkansas face up to 10 years in prison if convicted in the case.


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