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Time Served

Zaosong Zheng, the researcher accused of attempting to smuggle research materials out of the US who later pleaded guilty to lying, has been sentenced to time served, the Associated Press reports.

Zheng, a medical student who was in the US on a Harvard University-sponsored visa, was arrested December 2019 at Logan Airport when officials uncovered vials wrapped in cellophane and socks in his luggage. The Boston Globe reported at the time that vials contained the work of one of Zheng's coworkers at a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center lab that he was taking to China so he could conduct further research, publish it, and take credit for it.

In December, Zheng pleaded guilty to making false statements to a customs official, as he denied having biological materials in his bag. His lawyer pointed out to the AP then that though Zheng was initially charged with smuggling, he has only pleaded guilty to lying. 

Zheng was sentenced this week to time served, about 87 days, according to the US Department of Justice. The AP adds Zheng is to have already left the country. 

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