CHICAGO — A Chinese businessman was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to provide military equipment to a Peruvian terrorist organization.
The case was investigated by special agents with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Guan Ying Li, 50, also known as “Henry Li,” from Hong Kong, China, pleaded guilty in 2014 to attempting to provide material support and resources to “Shining Path,” a terrorist organization designated by the U.S. Department of State. The original goal of Shining Path was to overthrow the government of Peru and replace it with a Maoist socialist system.
In 2011, Li brokered several deals with a purported Chicago area businessman to provide military equipment to Shining Path, knowing that the equipment was to be used to kill Peruvian and U.S. government personnel. However, Li was unaware that the purported Chicago area businessman was actually an undercover law enforcement agent.
Li acquired and sold to the undercover agent five thermal batteries designed for use in the man-portable air-defense system known as MANPAD. These surface-to-air missiles would allow Shining Path members to shoot down helicopters, including those carrying U.S. personnel. According to Li’s plea agreement, Li caused the batteries to be shipped from Hong Kong to an address in Central America provided by the undercover agent.
Li also sold eight paratrooper assault harnesses, eight paratrooper backpacks, eight shovels, two VHF radios and four night-vision systems, according to the plea agreement. Li caused the equipment to be shipped from China to an address in Elmhurst, Illinois, provided by the undercover agent.
Pursuant to his plea agreement, Li agreed to cooperate in any matter in which he is called upon by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.
The Central Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Inspector General assisted with the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Hiller, Northern District of Illinois, prosecuted this case.