King and others said the prison felt like a secure college campus. Inmates lived in one of several concrete-floored dormitory-style buildings with shared bathrooms and common space. Three or four men slept in small, crowded cubicles divided by cinderblock walls four to five feet high, easy enough to see over the top of. By 2002, two years after his conviction and sentencing, Tse claimed to be almost penniless and requested a waiver for legal fees to file appeals or sentencing reductions. He said in court filings all he owned was $500 worth of clothes and $1,000 donated to him by friends and family, although it’s possible he chose not to report any holdings outside the US. Prison was likely an adjustment for Tse, but if he was troubled those around him mostly didn’t see it. Ben, a pseudonym of a former Elkton inmate who spoke to CNN on the condition of anonymity, said Tse was “a pretty nice guy” who always had a big smile.