News and Press Releases

Illegally exported night vision goggles to Taiwan – Co-conspirator sent them to China

March 23, 2006

HOWARD HSY, 69, of Bellevue, Washington was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Zilly to two years of probation and a $15,000 fine in U.S. District Court in Seattle today for Conspiracy to Violate the Arms Export Control Act. Government prosecutors highlighted HSY’s cooperation with investigators, and HSY’s imprisonment in Taiwan for the same offense, in asking for a sentence of probation.

According to the charging information filed in the case, during 2002 and 2003, HSY conspired with others to export night vision goggles and camera lenses to a contact in Taiwan. Exporting those items required a license and written approval from the U.S. State Department. HSY did not have such approval. The military equipment was later shipped to the People’s Republic of China.

According to court records, HSY conspired with others in the Seattle area and Taiwan to purchase the military gear for export. The military equipment was primarily used by military pilots to fly and navigate at night. In October, 2005, one Seattle area co-conspirator, DONALD SHULL, pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Violate the Export Administration Act and was sentenced by U.S. Judge Zilly in February, 2006 to two years of probation and a $10,000 fine.

Documents filed in the case reveal that HSY was approached by a unnamed co-conspirator in Taiwan who asked HSY to acquire these military items: Imaging Systems F4949 “Generation III” night-vision goggles; HGV 55/P Helmet Mount Assemblies; and Nightmate CCTV Adapter “Generation III” night-vision camera lenses. HSY, SHULL and a third Seattle area co-conspirator purchased the items through a front company they had in Auburn, WA. Over the course of about 18 months, the items were purchased and delivered to the co-conspirator in Taiwan. On two occasions, the co-conspirator in Taiwan came to Seattle to pick-up the goods. HSY personally carried the goods to Taiwan on the third and final delivery. HSY and SHULL later learned that the Taiwan co-conspirator had shipped the military items to China.

The case was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Todd Greenberg.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office at (206) 553-4110.

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