Defendant Placed Packages on Flights from JFK Airport to Beijing at the Direction of Military Officers Assigned to the Chinese Mission to the United Nations

Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, New York, Ying Lin pleaded guilty to acting as an agent of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), without notification to the Attorney General, by working at the direction and control of military officers assigned to the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations. Lin, a former manager with an international air carrier headquartered in the PRC (the Air Carrier), abused her privileges to transport packages from John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport) to the PRC aboard Air Carrier flights at the behest of the PRC military officers and in violation of Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations.

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Four Peruvian residents have been extradited to the United States, where they stand accused of operating a large-scale extortion scheme from 2012 through 2015, according to the Justice Department and U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Jesus Gerardo Gutierrez Rojas, 37, Maria de Guadalupe Alexandra Podesta Bengoa, 38, Virgilio Ignacio Polo Davila, 43, and Omar Alfredo Portocarrero Caceres, 39, face federal charges in Miami. Peruvian authorities arrested the four in late 2017, based upon a U.S. indictment. All four remained incarcerated in Peru since the time of their arrest. Peru approved their extradition to the U.S. on Jan. 18, 2019.

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A federal jury has convicted two Bucharest, Romania, residents of 21 counts related to their scheme to infect victim computers with malware in order to steal credit card and other information to sell on dark market websites, mine cryptocurrency and engage in online auction fraud.

Bogdan Nicolescu, 36, and Radu Miclaus, 37, were convicted after a 12-day trial of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit service marks, aggravated identity theft, conspiracy to commit money laundering and 12 counts each of wire fraud. Sentencing has been set for Aug. 14, 2019 before Chief Judge Patricia A. Gaughan of the Northern District of Ohio.

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The United States is funding $7 million in assistance over two years for the construction of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) Centre for Chemistry and Technology. This assistance, provided by the Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction Program, will be added to the donations of numerous other states to build the state-of-the-art analytical laboratory for the OPCW in The Netherlands.

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The text of the following statement was issued jointly by the Governments of the United States, Norway, and the United Kingdom.

The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) are alarmed about the escalating conflict around Yei, which represents a flagrant breach of the December 2017 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement and the September 2018 revitalized peace agreement. These military actions, and the trading of blame, must stop.

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Two federal courts handed down decisions this week protecting religious liberty and agreeing with the positions of the Department of Justice in those cases. In the first case, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a federal trial court had improperly dismissed a suit by a small African Christian congregation under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA). The congregation alleges that Baltimore County, Maryland, improperly denied the congregation zoning approval for a new church. In the second case, the United States District Court for the District of Iowa ruled that the University of Iowa violated the First Amendment rights of a student group when the University de-registered the group for requiring its student leaders to adhere to the group’s religious beliefs, while not applying that same requirement to other student groups.

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