JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A U.S. Navy lieutenant, for was previously stationed at NAS Jacksonville, has been sentenced to four year in federal prison, followed by three years of probation.
Fan Yang, 36, of Jacksonville, was found guilty in fall of conspiring with his co-defendants Ge Songtao, 51, of Nanjing, People’s Republic of China (PRC), and Yang Yang, 36, of Jacksonville.
In 2019, the Yangs and two Chinese nationals were accused of conspiring to evade export controls to smuggle military grade boat engines and inflatable boats to China, where they would eventually end up in the hands of the Chinese government.
The three others have pleaded guilty. The smuggling changes against Yang were dropped, but in November, he was convicted on charges that he illegally bought a gun for one of the Chinese defendants and lied about his contact with them.
The government says that compromised him, with the judge saying he agrees that the man for whom Fan Yang bought guns, Ge Songtao, was getting his hooks into Fan Yang for possible detrimental effects in the future.
With Fan Yang failing to report his personal and business ties to Ge Songtao, the prosecution says Ge Songtao had compromising evidence and huge leverage against Fan Yang.
In a statement, the FBI Jacksonville says: “Lt. Fan Yang swore an oath to protect this country, but instead posed a significant risk to U.S. National Security when he failed to report his contact with the head of a Chinese Defense Contracting firm. This act was even more egregious considering Yang’s Top Secret security clearance and active-duty status as an officer in the U.S. Navy.”
Fan Yang’s four-year sentence is the most severe of the four people involved in this web. Fan Yang’s attorney says he plans to appeal the conviction and sentencing brought down from the judge.