(PresidentialHill.com)- Two men with previous ties to the Department of Homeland Security have been charged with participating in a scheme to spy on and harass political dissidents on behalf of the Chinese Communist Party.
Craig Miller and Derrick Taylor were indicted by a federal grand jury last Thursday along with three other men. Miller worked as a DHS deportation officer in Minneapolis and Taylor is a former DHS agent out of California.
According to the indictment, Miller and Taylor aided agents from a foreign government in suppressing dissidents living in the United States.
The other three defendants in the case are Fan “Frank” Liu, Matthew Ziburis, and Qiang “Jason” Sun. Both Liu and Ziburis were arrested in March. Miller and Taylor were arrested last month. Qiang Sun, a Chinese national, remains at large.
According to court documents, a co-conspirator of Liu’s retained Derrick Taylor to obtain the personal information of multiple Chinese dissidents residing in the United States, including flight records, passport information, and photos. Taylor enlisted the help of Craig Miller and another DHS officer to obtain the information from a restricted government Homeland Security database which was then passed on to Taylor.
Liu, Ziburis, and Sun then allegedly used the information to target and harass the dissidents at the behest of the Chinese government.
While he was being questioned by authorities, Craig Miller allegedly deleted text messages between him and Derrick Taylor.
Taylor, meanwhile, allegedly instructed an associate to withhold evidence from the FBI.
Both Taylor and Miller have been charged with obstruction of justice. Additionally, Taylor faces charges of making false statements to the FBI.
Liu and Ziburis have been charged with conspiring to act as agents of the People’s Republic of China. They are also charged along with Qiang Sun of conspiring to commit interstate harassment and criminal use of a means of identification.
If convicted, the five men could face decades in federal prison, with sentences ranging between 20 and 30 years.