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Ex-Raytheon engineer sentenced to prison for carrying sensitive info to China

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Posted at 7:55 PM, Nov 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 00:15:45-05

TUCSON, Ariz. — A former Raytheon engineer is facing more than three years in Federal prison for taking a laptop computer to China---a laptop carrying information about military air to air missiles.

Wei Sun pleaded guilty to violating export restrictions on sensitive information. The information was not classified as secret but it is still illegal to take it out of the country. The US Attorney for Arizona says Wei Sun knew he was not allowed to take the laptop to China, and even went on line from the laptop while he was there. Michael Bailey says it is not clear whether the Chinese actually got a look at the information.

"This is the type of issue that's always our minds here in Arizona, between the defense contractors we have in the state like Raytheon, tech companies and the research going on at the universities. We are a special target for foreign actors to come in and seek to gain information from people working in these areas."

Bailey praised Raytheon’s co-operation with the investigation. He says Wei Sun was arrested on his way to the Tucson Airport to return to China to stay. Wei Sun’s attorney argued it would not make much difference if China acquired the missile plans because the U-S sold the same design to Pakistan and Pakistan was likely to share the design with its Chinese allies.