Eight Chinese agents were charged on Wednesday by the FBI for stalking and harassing U.S. citizens as a way to coerce them to return to China.
Five defendants were arrested Wednesday morning, while three remain at large. Those arrested were found in New Jersey, New York, and California.
Upon the arrests, acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme told reporters that "those charged in China" should "stay out" of the U.S
FBI Director Christopher Wray said that these are the first charges of their kind, which include conspiring to violate law on interstate stalking on behalf of the People's Republic of China.
An unidentified co-conspirator allegedly left a note on a New Jersey resident's door that read, "If you are willing to go back to mainland and spend 10 years in prison, your wife and children will be all right. That's the end of this matter!" Unsolicited packages that threatened the resident's family were also sent as a form of the co-conspirator's harassment.
Officials reported that the New Jersey resident being targeted was "far from an isolated incident."
"Our concern isn't with the Chinese people or with Chinese Americans," Wray said. "Our concern is with criminal acts committed at the behest of the Chinese government and the Chinese Communist Party."