Jianyu Huang, a lab worker at the New Mexico nanotechnology research center, is accused of stealing research belonging to the United States and claiming it was his own original research, sharing that information online with several state-run Chinese universities, his indictment said.
He did not have access to classified national security information, Sandia National Labs said.
Huang, a five-year employee, was fired in April for removing a company-owned laptop from the facility, a violation of procedures, KRQE-TV said Tuesday.
In a statement released by Sandia National Labs on Monday, it said it expected all employees to follow procedures.
Huang was indicted on five counts of federal program fraud and one count of false statements, court papers said.
His indictment in May was sealed until last week, and he was arrested over the weekend, the television station reported. He remains in federal custody until his arraignment, scheduled for next week.