June 9, 2016 / 10:35 PM / 4 years ago

U.S. woman convicted of conspiracy to export jet engines to China

(Reuters) - A California woman was convicted on Thursday by a federal jury in Florida of conspiring to illegally export fighter jet engines, a military drone and technical data on the weapons to China, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Wenxia Man, 45, of San Diego, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison for violating the Arms Export Control Act, the department said in a statement. The engines are used in F-35, F-22 and F-16 U.S. fighter jets, and a drone capable of firing Hellfire missiles through a third country, it added.

Sentencing is set for Aug. 19.The Lockheed Martin F-35, powered by Pratt and Whitney engines, is the most advanced strike fighter in the United States arsenal. The General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper, powered by a General Electric turbofan engine, has been in wide use against targets in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Libya.According to the grand jury indictment filed on Aug. 21, 2014, Man was a legal permanent resident of San Diego doing business as AFM Microelectronics, Inc. It said she worked with Xinsheng Zhang, a resident of China who was “acting as an official agent for the procurement of arms, munitions, implements of war, and defense articles on behalf of that country.”

Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Richard Chang

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