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By: Danielle Hatch

Fan Yang, 34, a naturalized citizen of the United States and Lieutenant in the US Navy and his wife, Yang Yang, 33 (also a naturalized citizen) have been arrested on charges of conspiring to smuggle military-style inflatable boats, with Evinrude MFE military outboard motors to the People’s Republic of China. Ge Songtao, 49 and Zheng Yan, 27, both citizens of the People’s Republic of China, have also been charged in connection with this indictment.

All four individuals have been charged with conspiring to submit false export information and attempting to export items to China illegally. Yang Yang, Ge Songtao, and Zheng Yan have also been charged with causing the submission of false and misleading information into the US Automated Export System (AES) and attempting to export seven vessels and eight engines. Fan Yang, Yang Yang, and Ge Songtao are also charged with conspiring to violate laws that prohibit an alien admitted under a nonimmigrant visa from possessing a firearm. Fan Yang is also charged with making false statements to a firearms dealer.

A conviction on just the conspiracy for providing false export information charge carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison, the attempted-smuggling charge carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and making false statements to firearms dealers carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

Department of Justice Memo: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/us-navy-officer-his-wife-and-two-chinese-nationals-charged-conspiring-smuggle-military-style