Jacksonville woman pleads guilty to attempting to export maritime raiding craft, engines to China

Jacksonville woman pleads guilty to attempting to export maritime raiding craft, engines to China

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A local Navy lieutenant wife, Yang Yang, plead guilty to attempting to illegally export maritime raiding craft and engines to China.

In Oct., Action News Jax reported that a local Navy lieutenant and his wife were linked to a smuggling scheme involving illegal gun trading and the Chinese.

READ: NAS Jax lieutenant, wife linked to smuggling scheme, illegal gun trading involving the Chinese

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On Oct. 17, the FBI and NCIS raided Yangs’ Mandarin home.

According to a 40-page federal complaint, Mr. Yang is a Naval Officer stationed at Naval Air Station Jacksonville with top secret clearance. He’s currently assigned to the Maritime Patrol Reconnaissance Weapons School at NAS Jax.

His wife, Yang, who he married in 2013, the year after he attained top secret clearance faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to the plea agreement, Yang was employed by Shanghai Breeze Technology Co. Ltd., a company headquartered in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China. At the direction of co-conspirators in China, she attempted to order from a U.S. manufacturer seven combat rubber raiding craft equipped with engines that can operate using gasoline, diesel fuel, or jet fuel, according to court documents.

These vessels and multi-fuel engines are used by the U.S. military and can be operated after being launched from a submerged submarine or dropped into the ocean by an aircraft. No comparable engine is manufactured in China. When the U.S. manufacturer suggested that Yang purchase cheaper gasoline-fueled engines, she insisted that she wanted to purchase the military-model multi-fuel engines, according to court documents.

Documents say to get the manufacturer to sell this equipment, Yang falsely represented that her customer was an entity called United Vision Limited in Hong Kong, rather than Shanghai Breeze Technology Co. in Shanghai.

The plea agreement says one of Yang’s Chinese co-workers had told her that American manufacturers would be more likely to sell to an entity in Hong Kong rather than one in mainland China. By misrepresenting what company was buying the equipment, and where it was located, Yang caused the entry of false information in the Department of Commerce’s Automated Export System in violation of federal law.

According to court documents, when Yang was interviewed by federal agents on Oct. 17, 2019, Yang admitted that she had only one client, Shanghai Breeze, and that based on her communications with a co-conspirator, she knew that the combat raiding craft were not intended for Hong Kong, but instead, mainland China.