NEWARK, NJ - A 38-year-old Chinese national pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to export military-grade night-vision technology from the United States to the Republic of China. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) conducted the investigation jointly with the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Services, the New Jersey State Police and the Piscataway Township Police Department. Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Ralph J. Marra, Jr. announced the guilty plea.
Bing Xu, of Nanjing, China pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Renee Marie Bumb. Xu faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Xu, a manager at Everbright Science and Technology, Ltd, a company located in Nanjing, admitted that he conspired with others at Everbright to purchase certain night-vision technology from a company in the United States, which required a license from the United States Department of State for export.
"ICE intends to aggressively investigate any allegation concerning the export of technology that violates United States law," said ICE acting Special Agent-in-Charge, William J. Hayes." "Violating our country's export laws is a serious crime that carries severe penalties."
Xu admitted that he and others at Everbright first attempted to obtain the necessary export license for the night-vision equipment. When the license application was denied by the Department of State, Xu agreed with others at Everbright to take steps to export the night-vision optical equipment illegally. Xu stated that he knew his conduct was illegal and that he was aware that a license was required to export the technology. The United States maintains an arms embargo with China, and State Department policy is to deny permission for the export of defense articles such as the night-vision technology that Xu sought to order. Xu has been in custody since his arrest in October 2007. His sentencing is scheduled for June 8, 2009.