A 52-year-old Huntington Beach businessman got sentenced this week for exporting seven thermal imaging cameras to China in violation of U.S. national security controls.
Jason Jian Liang, a 1985 immigrant from China and president of Sanwave International Corp., admitted that he did not seek export licenses for the expensive cameras, but argued that his punishment should be restricted house arrest or probation.
Liang's reasoning? He's a God-fearing church member, had no prior criminal record and the technology in L-3's Thermal Eye 300-D cameras can't threaten national security because communist Chinese military officials already have similar equipment.
But Assistant United States Attorney Douglas F. McCormick argued that Liang's exportation clearly violated federal law and, while the transfer of the long wavelength infrared cameras may not threaten national security, it raises "national security concerns."
(McCormick also noted that Liang, who has a bank account in China, is keenly aware of the tensions between the U.S. and China.)
Technology experts like Christopher R. Costanzo in Washington, D.C. believe the camera could bring "potential military" advancements for China, according to McCormick, who sought a 46-month prison sentence for Liang.
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U.S. District Judge David O. Carter ignored the defense request for probation and sided with McCormick.
Liang, who has a daughter attending UCLA and a son at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, must surrender to federal prison officials by noon on May 21.
Ironically, his father was a nationalist persecuted by the Communists, according to a federal document reviewed by the Weekly.