Chinese students arrested on charges of photographing US military base

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Two Chinese students have reportedly been arrested on charges of photographing a U.S. military base over the weekend in Key West, Fla.

The two students from the University of Michigan appeared in federal court in Key West Monday to face charges of entering the naval property with the intention of photographing defense installations. These two arrests mark the fourth of Chinese nationals taking photos of military facilities in Key West since the fall of 2018, FL Keys News reported on Tuesday.

Yuhao Wang and Jielun Zhang, both 24, were arrested after continuing into restricted property at Sigsbee Annex in the Naval Air Station after being told to turn around. Authorities found the students after a half-hour in their vehicle carrying cell phones and a Nikon camera. 

“U.S. Navy Security Forces obtained consent to look at the devices and observed photographs taken on the Sigsbee Annex property, including U.S. military structures on Fleming Key,” an FBI complaint affidavit obtained by the news outlet said. 

Wang reportedly acknowledged they drove onto the property after being asked to stop, and both students voluntarily showed all of the photos they took. The two were assigned attorneys at their Monday hearing, and their detention hearing will be Friday, according to FL Keys News.

Another Chinese student was arrested for taking photos of defense installations at the Truman Annex of the Naval Air Stations in Key West the day after Christmas. The fourth Chinese national was detained in September 2018 for trespassing onto the Naval Air Station.

U.S. intelligence has been paying close attention for Chinese spies in Florida, including at Mar-a-Lago, President Trump’s private club  in Palm Beach. Two Chinese nationals were arrested for trespassing on Mar-a-Lago in 2019.

Tags China Donald Trump Florida Key West Naval Air Station trespassing

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