(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."
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(Reporting by Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Richard Chang)