A biolab executive facing federal charges for his role in the Reedley lab scandal resisted arrest, a U.S. Dept. of Justice spokeswoman tells GV Wire.
Jia Bei Zhu faces two charges: misbranding medical devices and making false statements to federal authorities. He was arrested on Oct. 19 in Reedley by Food and Drug Administration authorities.
Zhu, who identified himself as David He in his initial court appearance Friday via video teleconferencing, appeared with bandages on his nose and forehead.
“He resisted arrest and suffered minor scrapes. At his request, he was taken to the hospital and treated,” DOJ spokeswoman Lauren Horwood said Monday.
While FDA agents made the arrest as part of a sting operation, Reedley police transported Zhu, a Chinese national and former Clovis resident, to the county jail.
Returns to Court Tuesday
Zhu returns to court Tuesday at the Fresno federal courthouse for his rescheduled initial appearance. He did not enter a plea last Friday and he remains in Fresno County jail, records show.
The court docket indicates Zhu will appear in person for his Tuesday hearing in front of Magistrate Judge Erica Grosjean. He has no attorney listed as of Monday afternoon.
Zhu, listed as 62 in court records and 59 in jail records, allegedly was an executive with Universal Meditech Incorporated and Prestige Biotech Incorporated. In 2022, the company moved its facilities from Fresno to Reedley after a fire.
The companies made and sold COVID-19 test kits, as well as kits for pregnancy and HIV. Federal authorities charge that the companies did not have the proper authorization, and mislabeled some of its kits.
A Reedley code inspector, acting on a tip, discovered the Reedley lab in a warehouse in December 2022. That led to a months-long investigation by federal, state, and local officials that eventually shut down the lab.
The investigation also became part of a political maelstrom, with some elected officials accusing the county of hiding the investigation from the public. County officials responded, saying they were acting on the request of federal officials to keep quiet.
As GV Wire reported last month, three congressional committees are investigating the illegal biolab.