Chinese Businessman Sentenced to Ten Years in U.S. Prison for Attempting to Provide Military Equipment to Peruvian Terrorist Organization
CHICAGO — A Chinese businessman was sentenced today to ten years in federal prison for attempting to provide military equipment to a Peruvian terrorist organization.
GUAN YING LI, also known as “Henry Li,” pleaded guilty in 2014 to one count of attempting to provide material support and resources to Shining Path, a terrorist organization whose original goal 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. Unbeknownst to Li, the purported Chicago-area businessman was actually an undercover law enforcement agent.
U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow imposed the 120-month prison term at a sentencing hearing in federal court in Chicago.
The sentence was announced by Joel R. Levin, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; James M. Gibbons, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations; and Ryan Reihms, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Central Field Office of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service of the U.S. Department of Defense’s Office of Inspector General.
Li, 50, of Hong Kong, 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, the plea agreement states. Li caused this equipment to be shipped from China to an address in Elmhurst, Ill., 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 government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Hiller.