At least 1 ‘U’ student arrested after illegally capturing photos at Navy base

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 3:52pm

One University of Michigan international student was arrested over the weekend in Key West, Florida.

One University of Michigan international student was arrested over the weekend in Key West, Florida. Buy this photo
File Photo/Daily

At least one University of Michigan student was arrested over the weekend in Key West, Florida after illegally capturing photographs at a Navy base.

According to the Miami Herald, two international students, Rackham students Yuhao Wang and Jielun Zhang, both from China, approached the guard station at Sigsbee Annex in the Naval Air Station at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday in a blue Hyundai car. After being asked for military identification, which neither student gave, Wang and Zhang were asked to leave but instead drove into the restricted property, parking their car there.

In an email to The Daily, University spokeswoman Kim Broekhuizen confirmed Zhang is enrolled at the University but was unable to confirm Wang’s enrollment as multiple students at the University have the same name. All students with Wang’s name are enrolled in Rackham, according to MCommunity, the University’s digital student directory.

An affidavit filed in federal court by FBI Special Agent Chris Kelttheimer claimed the U.S. Navy Security Forces were able to locate Wang and Zhang after 30 minutes and discovered they possessed a Nikon camera and cell phones. After obtaining consent to look at the devices, U.S. Navy Security Forces discovered they contained photographs of Sigsbee Annex and military buildings on Fleming Key.

“Jielun Zhang explained they continued onto the property, driving around until they stopped, parked the vehicle and took photographs with his camera and videos with his cellular telephone,” Klettheimer wrote in the affidavit. “Jielun Zhang voluntarily showed agents the photographs and videos on the camera and cellular telephone he took while on Sigsbee Annex.”

Both Wang and Zhang first appeared in federal court on Monday with Magistrate Judge Lurana Snow and asked her to appoint lawyers able to represent them. Snow allowed a public defender for Wang and a private attorney for Zhang.

The Detroit News reported that both Wang and Zhang said they each had $9,000 in a U.S. bank which they were using for University tuition payments. Snow asked that the two each contribute $7,500 to the cost of their defense.

Wang and Zhang’s pretrial detention hearing in Key West is scheduled for Friday.

Zhang did not respond to an email from The Daily. This comes after two additional cases in which Chinese nationals were arrested for taking photos of the base in Key West.