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Former Raytheon Engineer Sentenced for Violating Arms Export Control Act

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Wednesday, November 18, that the Arizona District Court sentenced Wei Sun, a 49-year-old Chinese engineer, to 38 months in prison. Sun previously pled guilty to a felony charge of violating the Arms Export Control Act (AECA).

According to the DOJ’s press release, Sun is a naturalized citizen of the United States. “Sun was employed in Tucson for 10 years as an electrical engineer with Raytheon Missiles and Defense. Raytheon Missiles and Defense develops and produces missile systems for the United States military. During his employment with the company, Sun had access to information directly related to defense-related technology. Some of this defense technical information constituted what is defined as ‘defense articles,’ which are controlled and prohibited from export without a license under the AECA and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (the ITAR).”

“From December 2018 to January 2019, Sun traveled from the United States to China on a personal trip. On that trip, Sun brought along unclassified technical information on his company-issued computer, including data associated with an advanced missile guidance system that was controlled and regulated under the AECA and the ITAR.”

“Despite having been trained to handle these materials correctly, Sun knowingly transported the information to China without an export license in violation of the AECA and the ITAR.”

According to Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers, “Sun was a highly skilled engineer entrusted with sensitive missile technology that he knew he could not legally transfer to hostile hands.” “Nevertheless, he delivered that controlled technology to China. Today’s sentence should stand as a warning to others who might be tempted similarly to put the nation’s security at risk.”

Source: Department of Justice, November 18, 2020