A Chinese man whom authorities suspected of getting stolen military equipment now faces a smuggling charge, after he reportedly tried to by a $20,000 pair of military night vision goggles from an undercover agent.
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Yang Xin, who also goes by the alias Troy Shin, was indicted by a San Diego federal grand jury last week for violating arms trafficking laws.
It’s not clear who Xin is working for, but the kind of military equipment he’s accused of trying to get is highly regarded by foreign governments and criminal organizations.
Authorities began looking into Xin’s background in 2014 when his email indicated he’d obtained military equipment from a $1.7 million heist from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina.
Jordan Lee Smith, a Marine at Camp Lejeune, pleaded guilty to stealing and selling the equipment. He was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison. His lawyer says the thefts began as a way to pay his bills.
Xin reportedly bought 15 Advanced Target Pointer/Illuminator Aiming Lasers, according to Homeland Security investigators. Those lasers are used for aiming weapons in the dark. Investigators were able to track him down when he tried to acquire Ground Panoramic Night Vision Goggles on eBay.
(H/T San Diego Union-Tribune)