A US federal judge in Miami has sentenced a California woman to over four years of imprisonment for conspiring to export American military equipment, including warplane engines and a drone aircraft, to China.
The judge sentenced 45-year-old Wenxia Man, a naturalized US citizen from San Diego, on Friday after a jury convicted her in June of conspiring to export military gear to China without the proper license, AP reported Saturday.
Citing federal prosecutors, the report points to evidence that shows Man collaborated with somebody 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 $50 million -- capable of firing Hellfire missiles.
The federal judge stated that Man had a “clear intent” to provide Beijing with equipment that would have benefited the Chinese military.
The woman was found guilty of conspiring with a China-based individual 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.
However, Man’s attorney Alex Strassman insists that she was “entrapped” by federal agents and that his client, who runs a business with her husband making electronic parts for cell phones and radios, will appeal the verdict.
Strassman further argued that Man’s actions did not constitute serious attempts to give US military material to another country, but prosecutors say they have email and phone call evidence to prove that she knew she was engaged in criminal acts.
According to the report, Man allegedly told an undercover Homeland Security agent that “she worked with a spy who helped the Chinese military copy items from other countries.”