Military Sensors Manufactured for Department of Defense Exported to China
On April 23, 2015, Bo Cai, a Chinese national, was sentenced in the District of New Mexico to 24 months imprisonment. On the same day, his cousin Wentong Cai, a Chinese national in the U.S. on a student Visa, was also sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. Both men are scheduled to be deported after completing their prison sentences. Bo Cai and Wentong Cai were charged in a three-count superseding indictment with a scheme to illegally export sensors primarily manufactured for sale to the U.S. Department of Defense for use in high-level applications such as line-of-sight stabilization and precision motion control systems, without first obtaining the required export license. Previously, on December 16, 2014, Wentong Cai, pleaded guilty to conspiring with Bo Cai to violate the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic Arms Regulations (ITAR). Bo Cai pleaded guilty on July 23, 2014. Cai and Wentong Cai participated in a scheme to illegally export defense articles with military applications to the People’s Republic of China. According to court documents, in March 2012, Bo Cai, was employed by a technology company in China. He embarked on an illegal scheme to smuggle sensors out of the U.S. to China for one of his customers despite knowledge that the sensors could not be exported without a license and that the U.S. did not issue licenses to export the sensors to China. Bo Cai enlisted his cousin Wentong Cai to acquire the sensors under the ruse that he planned to use the sensors at Iowa State University where he was a graduate microbiology student. The investigation of this case began in October 2013 when an undercover HSI agent responded to Wentong Cai’s overtures. After negotiations by telephone and email, Bo Cai and Wentong Cai traveled to New Mexico in December 2013 where they obtained a sensor from undercover HSI agents and developed a plan for smuggling the sensor out of the U.S. to China. On December 11, 2013, Bo Cai was arrested at an airport in Los Angeles, CA, after the sensor was discovered concealed in a computer speaker in his luggage. Bo Cai was preparing to board a flight to China. Wentong Cai was arrested in Iowa in January 2014. This investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, USAF Office of Special Investigations, Defense Security Service, FBI.