A Chinese researcher at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was arrested Friday in a court hearing amid investigation in his ties to China, including possible leaking of sensitive software to the communist country. Earlier this year Guan Lei threw a damaged hard drive into a dumpster near his apartment, and attempted to flee the U.S.
Guan conducted research at UCLA since 2018, working with a professor to develop “an optimization algorithm” and apply it to machine learning, the affidavit said.
Two days after being interviewed by the FBI, Guan attempted to board a flight from LAX to China, but was barred by Customs agents from the leaving the country. Six days later, FBI agents staking out his apartment saw Guan pull a computer hard drive from his sock and throw it into a trash can, wrote Agent Timothy D. Hurt.