An NYPD officer accused of spying for China will be released on a $2 million bond in part due to the pandemic, a Brooklyn federal judge ruled Friday during a hearing.
Baimadajie Angwang, 34, tested positive for COVID-19 on Feb. 3.
US District Judge Eric Komitee said he would order Angwang sprung from the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn — but first wanted jail doctors to weigh in on whether his release should be delayed until he has a negative coronavirus test.
Assistant US Attorney Matthew Haggis objected to the decision, arguing that if Angwang entered the Chinese consulate in New York, the government would have no ability to recover him “short of an act of war.”
The judge reversed his prior ruling denying Angwang bail over concerns about coronavirus conditions at the MDC, where the Marine has been held in solitary confinement for four months — and in light of a new beefed-up bond.
The suspended Queens cop allegedly spied on other ethnic Tibetans in New York on behalf of China and offered to provide his contact in the Chinese consulate information about the internal operations of the NYPD.
Angwang tested positive for the coronavirus after experiencing “diarrhea, vomiting, sweats, chills, body aches and cough” and was placed in a 21-day quarantine, defense attorney John Carman wrote in the bail motion calling conditions at the facility “dreadful.”
The attorney said that in early February two inmates had perished in their cells from COVID-19 in the span of three days. Virus-induced restrictions have impaired his client’s ability to participate in his own defense, Carman wrote.
The judge agreed that the pandemic was now raging at the federal lockup, where 75 inmates and 25 staffers currently have active cases, according to the Bureau of Prisons website.
“It’s fair to say the picture at the MDC was different in a meaningful way in early October,” Judge Komitee said. “You have [now] what looks like a significant spike in the rate and severity of COVID cases.”
Carman offered a $2 million bail package — doubling the amount initially proposed — to be secured by a pair of Maryland properties worth a combined $520,000 and the $450,000 equity in the Long Island home Angwang shares with his wife and daughter.
In changing his position, Judge Komitee pointed to another case in which five defendants were released on relatively low bonds after they were charged with scheming to force people in the US to return to China by threatening to harm their families.
After Angwang was busted in September on charges of acting as an agent for a foreign government, obstruction, wire fraud and making false statements, Judge Louis Bloom granted his release on a $1 million bond to house arrest with electronic monitoring.
The government appealed and Judge Komitee overturned her decision.