Reedley lab suspect denied bail

Federal prosecutor says Jia Bei “Jesse” Zhu is an extreme flight risk

Darren Fraser
Published November 28, 2023  • 
12:00 pm

FRESNO – Citing flight risk concerns, a federal judge has denied bail to the man arrested in connection with the Reedley biolab.

On Nov. 22, Judge Stanley Boone of the U.S. Eastern District Court denied bond to Jia Bei Zhu, also known as David He. Federal prosecutor Joe Barton told the court that Zhu constituted an extreme flight risk and also was a serious risk of obstructing justice.

Zhu remains in jail in Fresno charged with two counts of distributing misbranded medical devices and one count for making false statements to federal authorities.

NO CONNECTION TO THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT

Zhu’s attorney, Tony Capozzi, said Zhu is not a spy.

Jia Bei “Jesse” Zhu, also known by the name David He. (U.S. Department of Justice)

“As far as I know, there is no involvement,” said Capozzi. “The Chinese government (is not) involved in anything to do with this lab or with Mr. He.”

He described Zhu as an “independent businessman,” and expressed doubts over the government’s case against Zhu.

“I want to see the basis of their evidence,” he said. “I do not believe what they are saying in their indictment is true.”

As of the bail hearing, Capozzi said he had not seen the government’s evidence against his client. He also said his client is being made the scapegoat.

“The witnesses in this case are trying to blame everything on him,” said Capozzi. “Other people were running the business.”

Zhu’s next court date is Jan. 10, 2024. Capozzi said he hopes by then to have a better idea of the government’s case.

“I hope to have (the) discovery,” he said. “I have no idea what evidence they have.”

ZHU’S WEALTH

GV Wire reported that Zhu told officials he had $10,000 to $20,000 in assets. A search on the Fresno County Assessor’s office under the name David Destiny Discovery, LLC – according to Barton, Zhu used this name to record a property deed – revealed a grant deed issued to Zhaoyan Wang, who is described in the record as a single woman. The grant deed lists Las Vegas as the address for David Destiny Discovery, LLC.

The grant deed, dated Oct. 26, 2022, lists a property in Clovis with a value of $770,000. According to Barton, as reported in the Wire story, Wang is the mother of Zhu’s newborn son. Wang recently returned to China, in the company of her son and mother. Barton cited Wang’s departure as further proof why Zhu should be considered a flight risk.

Darren Fraser
Reporter