A court on Friday sentenced a Chinese national who bought a radio for transmitting top-secret communications to three years in prison.
Qingshan Li, 34, pleaded guilty in December to a count of conspiracy to attempt to export defense articles without a license. He had purchased a Harris Falcon III AN/PRC 152A radio in San Diego. Investigators believe he with intended to ship the radio from Mexico to China.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Li met up last summer with a man identified only as “AB” in court documents. Li bought the radio from him, “along with other military radios, antennas, additional military equipment and a map of North Island Naval Air Station” in Coronado.
Prosecutors say the radio is designated as a defense article on the U.S. Munitions List. It requires a license from the State Department to export.
Breaches of wire and data communications “could mean deadly results for U.S. Navy SEALS and other U.S. military personnel using this equipment in the field,” according to prosecutors. They said Li admitted to agents who arrested him that he knew it was illegal to export the radio.
The export of such technology “risks the lives of American military personnel and imperils our nation’s overall security,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer.
In addition to the three-year sentence, Li will be deported after serving his term and lose his visa.
NCIS Southwest Field Office Special Agent in Charge Garrett Waugh said Li’s actions “posed a serious threat to the U.S. military’s warfighting capability.”
– City News Service
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