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inside, Officer Harper observed three women who identified themselves as PRC nationals, wearing white lab coats, glasses, masks, and latex gloves. The women appeared to be packaging items for shipment. Officer Harper identified numerous building code violations, including unlawful electrical rewiring. She also observed samples of potentially dangerous pathogens and biohazard signs. Further inside, she discovered what appeared to be approximately 1,000 white laboratory mice, which, according to the employees on site, “were being tested.”[1]

Officer Harper referred the matter to Fresno County and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Approximately two months later and according to local officials, the FBI informed her that it had closed its investigation because the Bureau believed that there were no weapons of mass destruction on the property. The FBI continued to engage with local officials. As detailed later in this report, Zhu was subsequently charged with federal offenses relating to fraud and false statements in an FDA-led investigation.[2]

After consultation with California state and Fresno County officials, Officer Harper led a small group to the Reedley Biolab and again requested entry.[3] Two individuals, one of whom refused to identify himself, were present but quickly left after authorities arrived. Upon entering, Officer Harper noticed that there were now padlocks barring entry to most of the facility.

  1. Select Committee Interviews with Local Officials.
  2. Press Release, Department of Justice, Arrest Made in Central California Biolab Investigation, (Oct. 19, 2023); United States v. Jia Bei Zhu, No. 1:23-MJ-00123-SKO, (E.D. Cal. Oct. 18, 2023) (Criminal Complaint).
  3. In Re: Property Locate at 850 “I” Street, Reedley, California 93654, No. 23CECG00912, (Cal. Super. Ct. Jun. 15, 2023).