A Chinese businessman was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in federal prison for attempting to sell batteries for an anti-aircraft and miscellaneous military gear to a Peruvian terrorist organization, the U.S. Attorney's office announced.
Fifty-year-old Guan Ying Li, also known as Henry Li, of Hong Kong, pleaded guilty in 2014 to attempting to provide material support and resources to Shining Path, a terrorist organization aiming to overthrow the Peruvian government and replace it was a Maoist socialist system, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.
In 2011, Li brokered multiple deals, prosecutors said, with a Chicago-area businessman to sell Shining Path military gear “knowing that the equipment was to be used to kill Peruvian and U.S. government personnel.” The Chicago businessman, unbeknownst to Li, was actually and undercover law enforcement agent, officials said.
Li acquired and sold five thermal batteries designed for use with a portable air-defense system MANPAD, prosecutors said. The MANPAD system launches surface-to-air missiles that would have allowed Shining Path members to shoot down helicopters. According to Li’s plea agreement, Li “caused” the batteries to be shipped from Hong Kong to an address in Central America given by the undercover agent.
Li also sold eight paratrooper assault harnesses, eight paratrooper backpacks, eight shovels, two VHF radios and four night-vision systems, the plea agreement says, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. The address the undercover agent provided for these items was located in Elmhurst, Ill.
Attorneys for Li, the Chicago Sun-Times reports, citing a sentencing memo, said the “otherwise law-abiding man” wouldn’t have brokered the deal if authorities hadn’t “manipulatively engineered” him.
U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow imposed the 120-month prison term at a sentencing hearing in federal court in Chicago.
Li, who is a graduate from the University of North Carolina, agreed to cooperate “in any matter in which he is called upon