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Snared for Meth, Taiwanese Nationals Now Charged With Seeking Military Drone
Posted By Jeffrey Benzing On April 25, 2012 @ 7:40 pm In National Security Regulation | No Comments
Two Taiwanese nationals arrested in a scheme to import crystal methamphetamine to the United States now face charges  for asking undercover agents to obtain a military drone and stealth technology to be sold to China, officials said Wednesday.
Hui Sheng Shen, 45, known as “Charlie”, and Huan Ling Chang, 41, known as “Alice”, told undercover FBI agents that their buyer was a “secret assistant” to a high-ranking Chinese official, the indictment said, and had asked them to help procure an entire E-2C Hawkeye reconnaissance craft, which they called the “big toy.”
During a meeting in Las Vegas, an agent expressed reluctance to make money from exports that could hurt the United States.
Prosecutors say Shen replied, “I think that all items would hurt America.”
The defendants also conspired to export stealth technology related to F-22 fighter planes, the indictment said.
Shen and Chang came to the United States in February to complete a drug sale and photograph technology the agents told them they had acquired. The defendants met in New York to see a drone and were arrested Feb. 25, before they could delete photographs.
They were charged March 2 in a criminal complaint with one count of conspiracy to import and one count of importation of meth. The complaint was amended to include conspiracy to violate the the Arms Export Control Act.
The defendants had been introduced to the undercover agents in February 2011 by Soon Ah Kow, 72, of Hong Kong, who was arrested this February on drug trafficking charges. According to the indictment, Shen and Chang sold the agents 1 kilogram of meth last August and discussed shipping more than 50 kilograms to the United States.
Shen and Chang were scheduled to appear Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
The export charges carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each drug charge carries a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $4 million fine – the maximum penalty is life in prison.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Zach Intrater and Chief Erez Liebermann of the Computer Hacking and Intellectual Property Section of the U.S. Attorney’s office’s Economic Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Pak of the General Crimes Unit in Newark.
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