A Chinese-American engineer, who formerly worked for defence manufacturer Raytheon, was sentenced to prison for illegally transporting weapons technology to China, the Justice Department announced on Wednesday (Nov 18).
Wei Sun (49) a Chinese-American engineer, who was employed in Tucson for 10 years as an electrical engineer with Raytheon Missiles and Defense, had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges. He was sentenced to six years and two months in prison for violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).
Raytheon Missiles and Defense develops and produces missile systems for use by the United States military.
According to the Justice Department charge-sheet, Wei took a company laptop to China between December 2018 and January 2019 that included proprietary technical details including data associated with an advanced missile guidance system that was controlled and regulated under the AECA and the ITAR.
“Sun was a highly skilled engineer entrusted with sensitive missile technology that he knew he could not legally transfer to hostile hands,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers said in a press release. “Nevertheless, he delivered that controlled technology to China.”
“The United States relies on private contractors to help build our unparalleled defense technology,” said United States Attorney Michael Bailey. “People who try to expose that technology to hostile foreign powers should know that prison awaits them. The close cooperation of the victim defense contractor and the dedication of the FBI made this case a success.” he added.
“This is not about a laptop mistakenly taken on a trip, this was the illegal export of US missile technology to China” Assistant Director Alan E Kohler, Jr. of the FBI’s Counterintelligence Division said.
Raytheon is among a group of U.S. defence contractors sanctioned by China over arms sales to rival Taiwan.