Scientist in custody in seed theft conspiracy

AP News
Posted: Dec 13, 2013 6:20 PM

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A federal judge in Arkansas has ordered an agricultural scientist from China who's accused of conspiring to steal seeds to remain in custody.

Wengui Yan of Stuttgart, Ark., and Weiqiang Zhang of Manhattan, Kan., are accused of conspiring to steal seeds from a research facility in Kansas and pass them to a Chinese delegation that visited the United States this year.

A judge in Little Rock ordered Yan to remain in custody on Friday. Zhang has a hearing set for Tuesday in Kansas.

Yan and Zhang are charged with conspiracy to steal trade secrets.

Prosecutors say Yan and Zhang arranged for a Chinese delegation to visit the U.S. this year and that customs agents later found stolen seeds in the delegation's luggage as it was preparing to return to China.