JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Navy lieutenant and his wife accused of illegally sending boats and military-grade items to China have been federally indicted.
The office of U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez on Friday announced the indictment of Fan Yang, Yang Yang, Ge Songtao and Zheng Yan on charges related to a conspiracy to smuggle military-style boats to China.
The Yangs and Songtao are also charged with conspiring to violate firearms law. Lt. Fan Yang, who is a China-born U.S. citizen, is also charged with an additional firearms-related offense and making false official statements.
COURT DOCUMENT: Indictment of Yangs, 2 Chinese nationals
Federal agents are attempting to link Fan Yang and Yang Yang, his wife who is also a U.S. citizen, to a scheme to smuggle inflatable boats and military-use engines to China. The FBI said they made more than $200,000 in the scheme. Details started to come out after the FBI and NCIS raided the Yangs' Jacksonville home off San Jose Boulevard.
Special Agent in Charge Rachel L. Rojas, of the FBI Jacksonville Division, issued the following statement after the indictment was announced:
"The illegal exportation of sensitive technology to prohibited entities poses a clear, significant threat to our national security. Although challenging, the FBI remains dedicated to preventing the theft of vital technologies. We are committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify, investigate, and eliminate any effort to circumvent the laws that protect this technology so it does not fall into the wrong hands."
All four charged are in the custody of U.S. marshals. They are due in federal court Monday.
They face up to 15 years in prison if they're convicted.