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Hearing set in LR for scientist charged in conspiracy

By The Associated Press

This article was published December 13, 2013 at 8:58 a.m.

LITTLE ROCK — A detention hearing is set in Little Rock for a Chinese scientist accused of trying to steal seed samples from a company's research facility in Kansas.

Wengui Yan, who lives in Stuttgart, has a hearing scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday. On Thursday, federal prosecutors in Kansas charged Yan and Weiqiang Zhang, of Manhattan, Kan., with conspiracy to steal trade secrets.

The federal complaint says Yan worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a rice geneticist at the Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center in Arkansas. Zhang worked as an agricultural seed breeder for an unidentified company.

They each face up to 10 years in prison and fines. Zhang has a detention hearing set for Tuesday in Kansas City, Kan.

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