Mysterious Reedley Biolab Suspect Remains Jailed as ‘Extreme Flight Risk’ - GV Wire - Explore. Explain. Expose
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Reedley Biolab

Mysterious Reedley Biolab Suspect Remains Jailed as ‘Extreme Flight Risk’

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The suspect in the alleged illegal Reedley biolab will remain in jail, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday morning.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Stanley Boone denied bond for Jia Bei Zhu, also known in court records as David He. He accepted the government’s arguments that Zhu is an “extreme flight risk” and a “serious risk” of obstructing justice.

Zhu is accused of three federal counts — two for distribution of adulterated and misbranded medical devices, and one for making false statements.

The decision was no surprise to Zhu’s attorney, Tony Capozzi, given the lack of collateral to support his client.

I believe there is a defense to this case. I want to see the discovery,” Capozzi, told GV Wire after the 15-minute hearing. “I want to see the basis of their evidence. I do not believe what they’re saying in the indictment is true. That witnesses in this case are trying to blame everything on him, although other people were running the business, not Mr. Zhu-He,” Capozzi said.

Prosecutor Joe Barton told Boone that the government has several pieces of evidence indicating Zhu and He are one and the same — although Capozzi does not dispute that. Barton said Zhu has crossed the U.S. border 40 times, including in 2015 from Canada. At the time, the name on his Chinese passport was “Zhu.”

Barton also said that the suspect used the name “David He” in a 2021 immigrant benefits application. A Canadian driver’s license with the He name was also found last spring when federal agents raided the Reedley lab.

Capozzi said Zhu legally changed his name to He in a Los Angeles court in 2020.

Barton offered no comment.

Amount of Assets Questioned

The prosecutor alleged Zhu lied to pre-trial detention agents regarding whether he ad contact with his children and also on the value of his assets. Barton said Zhu recently had a newborn son with a woman he was not married to, only identified as “Wang.” Wang, the child, and Wang’s mother recently flew one-way to China — another example of why Zhu might be a flight risk, Barton said.

Zhu allegedly told pre-trial detention officials that he only had $10,000 to $20,000 in assets. Barton told the judge that Zhu owns several homes and condos in Las Vega, as well as a home he rents out in Clovis.

Those assets, allegedly in the millions Barton said, are under the name of David Destiny Discovery. Fresno County Recorder records show that David Destiny Discovery, LLC, own a home in Clovis, with an assessed value of $770,000.

Capozzi retorted that when Zhu answered a question about his assets, he was referring to how much he had in his personal account. Capozzi later told GV Wire he would ask the government for documents to support the Clovis home claim.

Barton also said Wang deposited $250,000 into a bank account associated with David Destiny Discovery. The address for the company is the same as the home Zhu and Wang shared in Las Vegas.

Nevada business records show that David Destiny Discovery LLC is registered to David He.

Attorney Denies Chinese Connection

A recent congressional report from the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party claimed that several biological agents were stored at the Reedley facility. It also alleged that Zhu received payments from the People’s Republic of China.

Capozzi denied those allegations.

“As far as I know, there is no involvement of (the) Chinese government involved in anything to do with this lab or with Mr. He,” Capozzi said.

If convicted, Zhu faces a maximum prison sentence of three years and a $250,000 fine for the adulterated and misbranding of medical devices charges and five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the false statements charge.

Zhu returns to court on Jan. 10, 2024, for a status conference in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara McAuliffe.

Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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