Photo via Pixabay
Photo via Pixabay

A Chinese national was sentenced Monday in federal court in San Diego to 27 months in prison for illegally buying military-grade night-vision goggles controlled by the International Trade in Arms Regulations.

Yang Xin, 36, found the equipment posted on an online store’s website and negotiated its purchase through emails, then came to the United States on a tourist visa to obtain it, according to court documents.

Xin bought the goggles for $20,000 in U.S. currency in February 2016. He was arrested and charged with smuggling goods from the United States, because he planned to return to China with them.

Xin, who claimed to merely be a collector of U.S. military gear, initially came to the attention of law enforcement through his procurement of such equipment from a domestic broker who was part of a $1.7-million theft at U.S. Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

ITAR prohibits exportation of specific defense-related articles. Only authorized dealers may sell the controlled items, and Xin did not have the license required to export them, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in San Diego.

–City News Service