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Chinese man pleads guilty in sensor smuggling attempt

Chinese man pleads guilty in sensor smuggling attempt

ALBUQUERQUE: A second Chinese national in New Mexico trying to smuggle sensors made by the US army has pleaded guilty to conspiracy, here the other day.

Wentong Cai, 30, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

In his plea agreement, Wentong Cai admitted that from March 2012 to December 2013, he and his cousin, 29-year-old Bo Cai, conspired illegally to export sensors from the United States to China without first obtaining the required export license.

At the time, Wentong Cai was a graduate student at Iowa State University studying microbiology and Bo Cai was employed by a technology company in China.

According to Homeland Security investigators, Wentong Cai and Bo Cai met with an undercover agent in Albuquerque to buy the sensors, which are typically used for military communications and lasers in ground and aerial military vehicles.

HSI agents arrested Bo Cai in December 2013 as he prepared to board a flight to China. The sensor was discovered concealed in a computer speaker in his luggage. Wentong Cai was subsequently arrested on Jan. 22, 2014.

Wentong Cai is in federal custody and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing, which has yet to be scheduled. Under the terms of his plea agreement, Wentong Cai will be sentenced to 18 months of imprisonment. He will be deported to China after he completes his prison sentence.

In July, Bo Cai pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act, smuggling and conspiracy. Bo Cai is in federal custody and remains detained pending his sentencing hearing. If convicted of all three charges, he faces a maximum penalty of 35 years in prison.

Under the terms of his plea agreement, Bo Cai will be deported after completing his prison sentence.