Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., said Bo Jiang was a researcher at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and worked on programs involving "source code for high-technology imaging," information that could be used by the Chinese military.
Wolf, chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees NASA, said he was contacted about Jiang by a whistleblower who said the man traveled to China with laptops containing his classified work.
Authorities arrested Jiang Saturday night as "he was leaving the United States abruptly to return to China on a one-way ticket" after Wolf publicly named him as a suspect Wednesday, an FBI affidavit said.
Federal prosecutors charged Jiang with lying to them about the electronic devices he was carrying, CBS News reported Monday.
Jiang allegedly said he had a cell phone, a memory stick, an external hard drive and a new computer. Agents said they discovered Jiang failed to disclose "an additional laptop, an old hard drive and a SIM card."
Jiang appeared in court briefly Monday and was set to remain in custody at least until a detention hearing scheduled for Tuesday, CBS News reported.