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Guilty plea for illegal exports
Seattle Times Eastside bureau
A Bellevue man pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiring to illegally export night-vision goggles and other prohibited military equipment to Taiwan, with an ultimate destination in China.
The plea was entered by Howard Hsy, 69, who was charged in March and faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is set for Feb. 23.
Hsy was charged with conspiracy to violate the federal Arms Export Control Act. One other defendant, Donald Shull of Seattle, was charged in September with violating the federal Export Administration Act. He pleaded guilty Oct. 11 and is to be sentenced Feb. 17.
According to the charges, Hsy and other defendants began planning the illegal export of the items as early as 2002. A license and written approval from the State Department is required to export such materials, which the men did not have.
The items included night-vision goggles, helmet-mounting assemblies and night-vision camera lenses. The equipment is used primarily by military pilots to fly and navigate at night.
Hsy, Shull and an unnamed third Seattle-area co-conspirator bought the items through a front company in Auburn and delivered them to a primary co-conspirator who lived in Taiwan, according to the charging papers.
The Taiwan contact twice came to the United States to pick up the goods, the charging papers say, and Hsy personally carried illegal goods to Taiwan on a third delivery. Hsy and Shull later learned the gear had been shipped to China, the charges add.
The case was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and was heard by U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Zilly.
Peyton Whitely: 206-464-2259 or email@example.com
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