California Woman tried to Smuggle Military Jet Engines & Drones to China – Gets Only 4 Years in Prison
A California woman, who was recently convicted of “conspiring to export and cause the export of fighter jet engines, an unmanned aerial vehicle – commonly known as a drone – and related technical data” to the Chinese government, received only a four year sentence.
The Guardian reports:
A Miami federal judge imposed the sentence Friday on 45-year-old Wenxia Man, a San Diego woman and naturalized citizen who goes by “Wency”, court records show. A jury convicted her in June of conspiring to export military equipment without the proper license.
Federal prosecutors say evidence in the case showed Man worked with a person in China to export engines used in F-135, F-22 and F-16 fighter jets as well as an MQ-9 Reaper drone aircraft, worth $50m and capable of firing Hellfire missiles. The judge said that Man had a “clear intent” to provide China with equipment that would have benefited its military.
Man allegedly told an undercover Homeland Security investigations agent she worked with a spy who helped the Chinese military copy items from other countries. She had been free on $250,000 bond since last year but was eventually taken into custody for allegedly sending text messages to the federal agent who was involved in her case during her trial. The messages, sent in Mandarin Chinese, were sent during a break in the agent’s two-day testimony.
Man was found guilty of conspiring with a man based in China, whom Man called a “technology spy”, to illegally acquire and export the military equipment. Her subsequent contact with a third party, who went to the authorities, led to an undercover investigation. Man’s lawyer, Alex Strassman, has said that she was “entrapped” by federal agents and that his client, who with her husband ran a business making electronic parts for cellphones and radios, will appeal the verdict.
While the US Congress has decided to give China most favored nation status under the Bush regime, the reality is still that China is not a friend of the US. It is still a Communist government, which is opposed to the charters and foundations of our Republic. As such, Man’s actions should be considered treasonous, even though we are not at war with China.
Yet, her attorney claims that her attempts to sell the Chinese these engines and drone are not to be considered attempts to arm the Chinese with military material. Really?
Fortunately, prosecutors provided evidence in the form of email and phone calls which demonstrated that Man knew she was engaged in illegal activity.
Still, whether her intent was to provide military material or not, that is what she was engaged in. Her intent seems to be irrelevant in this case.
Man is not the first naturalized citizen to be found to work for the Chinese. Earlier in August, Kun Shan Chun, who goes by the name Joey Chun, worked for the FBI from 1997 to 2016. He was arrested in 2015 for acting as an agent of the Chinese government.
Chun passed sensitive information, including “the identity and travel plans of an FBI agent; an internal organizational chart; and photos he took of documents in a restricted area related to surveillance technology,” according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Emil Bove.