Threat Intelligence

Justice Department drops charges against government employee

The Justice Department has dropped an eight-count indictment against a federal employee who was accused of illegally downloading data from a restricted government database.

The department suggested that Xiafen Chen, a hydrologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), stole the documents on behalf of a Chinese government official, The Wall Street Journal reported. Her trial was set to start on Monday, but was dropped after a request from Chen's attorneys this week.

Chen was accused of meeting with a Chinese official in 2012 and handing over information on U.S. dams. However, her defense court filings indicated that those documents included only publicly available information.

The allegations came from a June 11, 2013 interview with the Justice Department, during which Chen denied downloading the information.

Following the case's dismissal, Chen plans to seek reinstatement to her job.

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