FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE) – A Chinese citizen is facing federal charges following his arrest in connection with the illegal lab discovered in Reedley, which was uncovered earlier this year.

According to federal prosecutors, 62-year-old Jia Bei Zhu (also known as Jesse Zhu, Qiang He, David He) was arrested on Thursday. The 62-year-old, who used to live in Clovis, is accused of distributing misbranded medical devices – and making false statements to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

62-year-old Jia Bei Zhu
62-year-old Jia Bei Zhu (image provided by the U.S. Department of Justice)

Federal prosecutors say Zhu changed his name, his companies’ names, and their locations in order to stay hidden.

“The disarray at the Reedley lab led to the glare of publicity he was trying to avoid, and the ensuing investigation unraveled his efforts to circumvent the requirements that are designed to ensure that medical devices are safe and effective,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert.

According to court documents, between December 2020 and March 2023, Zhu and others manufactured, imported, sold, and distributed hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 test kits. They also distributed test kits for HIV, pregnancy, clinical urinalysis, and other conditions in the United States and China.

The criminal complaint can be viewed below:

The defendant is due to make his first appearance in federal court in Fresno on Friday. If convicted of all charges, federal prosecutors say Zhu faces a maximum statutory penalty of three years in prison for the misbranding of medical devices charge – and five more years in prison for the false statements charge.