Californian woman sent behind bars for trying to sell US fighter jet tech to China

The 45-year-old worked with a Chinese associate to find buyers for items including high-tech jet engines.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Image: stock photo

A woman from California has been issued a hefty sentence for her role in a scheme to export military equipment and the technological blueprints behind them to Chinese customers.

On Friday, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) announced charges brought against Wency Man from San Diego. According to US prosecutors, Man -- also known as "Wenxia Man" -- planned to export fighter jet parts, a drone and sensitive technological data to the Chinese military.

The 45-year-old was charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act; and in particular, one count of "conspiring to export and cause the export of defense articles without the required license," according to the agency.

Man will spend 50 months behind bars for participating in the scheme, in which the woman worked with China-based Xinsheng Zhang to illegally acquire and export sensitive military technology.

Between March 2011 and June 2013, the US resident attempted to get her hands on devices including Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines used in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; Pratt & Whitney F119-PW-100 turbofan engines used in the F-22 Raptor fighter jet and General Electric F110-GE-132 engines designed for the F-16 fighter jet.

The final item, the General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper Predator B Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, is a drone capable of firing Hellfire missiles.

In addition, Man attempted to source the technical data behind each of these inventions to complete the sales package.

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Law enforcement launched an investigation into the woman, who when talking to an undercover Homelands Security Investigations (HSI) agent called Zhang a "technology spy" who, while having a particular interest in stealth technology, worked for the Chinese military in "copying items from other countries."

The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin.

In June, US law enforcement prosecuted Kan Chen with violating the same act after investigators discovered the Chinese national was facilitating the export of at least 180 military items from the US to China, including night vision technology and thermal imaging scopes.

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