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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

California woman who illegally shipped night vision gunsights to Taiwan is sentenced

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A California woman was sentenced today for shipping night vision gunsights to an individual in Taiwan after an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Yi Chieh Ren, also known as "Vanessa Chu" and "Yi Chieh Chu," 39, of San Jose, Calif., was sentenced today to one day of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. She was also ordered to serve the first three months of her supervised release in home confinement, to pay a fine in the amount of $3,000 and to perform 100 hours of community service.

On May 13, 2009, Ren pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States.

According to documents filed with the court and statements made in court, on two occasions in 2007, REN shipped a Trijicon Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) via U. S. Postal Service Priority Mail from San Jose to an un-indicted co-conspirator in Taiwan. In doing so, REN falsely described the contents and value of the shipment on a customs declaration and dispatch note.

The ACOG is a night-vision gunsight used with M-16 assault rifles. Although ACOGs may legally be purchased and sold within the United States, they are subject to the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations ("ITAR") and may not be exported without a State Department license.

This matter was investigated by ICE, the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Office of Export Enforcement of the U. S. Department of Commerce, and the U. S. Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorney Edward Chang.