TUCSON – A former Raytheon engineer, Wei Sun, was sentenced to prison on Tuesday after previously pleading guilty to one felony count of violating the Arms Export Control Act. Sun, a Chinese national and naturalized citizen of the United States, was employed in Tucson for 10 years as an electrical engineer with the missile systems developer.
According to Department of Justice, during Sun’s employment with the company, he had access to information directly related to sensitive defense technology. Some of this defense technical information constituted what is defined as “defense articles,” which are controlled and prohibited from export without a license under the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (the ITAR).
From December 2018 to January 2019, Sun traveled from the United States to China on a personal trip. On that trip, Sun brought along unclassified defense-related technical information in his company-issued computer, including data associated with an advanced missile guidance system that was controlled and regulated under the AECA and the ITAR. Despite having been trained to handle these materials correctly, Sun knowingly transported the information to China without an export license in violation of the AECA and the ITAR.
“Sun admitted to illegally exporting controlled weapons technology plans out of the U.S. to China,” said Sean Kaul Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Phoenix Field Office. “China represents the greatest counterintelligence threat to our nation’s protected information and intellectual property. Confronting this threat remains a top priority for the FBI and we applaud the victim company for their cooperation and coordination throughout this investigation. We encourage Americans to be aware of the foreign economic espionage threat and report any relevant information to their local FBI office.”