Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have dropped their case against a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer who had been accused of acting as a foreign agent on behalf of the Chinese regime.
Baimadajie Angwang, a 33-year-old ethnic Tibetan and naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested in September 2020 on charges of allegedly acting as an illegal agent of Beijing as well as committing wire fraud, making false statements, and obstructing an official proceeding.
Angwang, who served as a U.S. Army reservist and was granted a “SECRET”-level security clearance, had faced up to 55 years in jail if found guilty.
However, prosecutors for the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York on Friday filed a motion asking federal Judge Eric R. Komitee to dismiss the indictment against Angwang, stating that an investigation had led to “additional information bearing on the charges.”
“Having assessed the evidence as a whole in light of that information … the government hereby moves, in the interests of justice, to dismiss the indictment without prejudice,” prosecutors said, according to CNN.
The indictment can only be dismissed once a federal judge signs the court order.
Angwang’s lawyer, John Carman, told CNN that the federal prosecutor’s move to dismiss the case against his client, who was suspended with pay, was “appreciated” but “long overdue.”
“The anguish and expense that this police officer and Marine Corps veteran has endured are not easily described,” Carman said. “We are optimistic that the Court will grant the motion and that this great American will have the opportunity to repair untold damage to his life.”
The Epoch Times has contacted the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York for comment.
Prosecutors Say Angwang Acted at Direction and Control of China
Angwang was arrested in Williston Park, New York, on Sept. 21, 2020.
At the time, prosecutors said Angwang—who was assigned to NYPD’s community affairs unit where, among other things, he served as a liaison to the community served by the 111th Precinct—had “acted at the direction and control of officials” of the Chinese Consulate in New York since at least 2014.
According to prosecutors, Angwang reported on the activities of Chinese citizens in the New York area and helped assessed potential intelligence sources within the Tibetan community in New York and elsewhere. He also provided Chinese officials with access to senior NYPD officials through invitations to official events, prosecutors said.
“According to court documents, Angwang was explicit about his motivations, telling his PRC [People’s Republic of China] official handler that was wanted to get promoted within the NYPD so that he could assist the PRC and bring ‘glory to China.’ In addition, Angwang told his handler that the handler’s superiors in Beijing ‘should be happy . . . because you have stretched your reach into the police’,” a release from the Department of Justice said at the time.
A criminal complaint also stated that Angwang’s family has extensive ties to both the Chinese Communist Party and the Chinese military, the People’s Liberation Army.
Additionally, he was charged with committing wire fraud, making material false statements relating to information he provided on a background check form, and obstructing an official proceeding.
In a separate statement to the New York Post, attorney Carman accused the government of launching an illegitimate prosecution against his client.
“Mr. Angwang is a great American who served his country in combat in Afghanistan and our government repaid him by treating him like he was the leader of the Taliban,” Carman said.