Yi Qing Chen, L.A. County Resident, Gets 25 Years For Agreeing to Import Shoulder-Fired Missiles From China to U.S.
Feds say Yi Qing Chen agreed to import these from China.
We admire Angeleno Yi Qing Chen for the breadth of his criminal appetite.
If you're going to be an outlaw douche, you mind as well own it.
Feds say the 49-year-old from Rosemead just got handed 25 years behind bars for trying to smuggle contraband, including Chinese surface-to-air missiles, in to the United States.
You know the problem with Chinese-made missiles?
They tend to break down after killing only a few hundred people. We kid.
But seriously, Chen was convicted of so much stuff, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office:
... Conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine, distribution of cocaine, trafficking in counterfeit cigarettes (approximately 800,000 cases of cigarettes), trafficking in contraband cigarettes, and conspiracy to import missile systems designed
to destroy aircraft.
Chen is clearly a renaissance man of crime. And so, U.S. district court Judge Dale S. Fischer this morning gave him 300 months in federal prison to think about it.
Chen "never saw a criminal scheme he didn't want a part of," the judge said.
The SGV resident apparently wanted to get some of those fine, Chinese-made QW-2 shoulder-fired missiles into America.
That led, the feds say, to "the nation's first conviction at trial under an anti-terrorism statute that outlaws the importation of missile systems designed to destroy aircraft."
U.S. Attorney in L.A. André Birotte Jr:
Mr. Chen was the first person in the nation to be indicted for plotting to smuggle anti-aircraft missiles into the United States after the 9/11 attacks. The 25-year sentence imposed today appropriately reflects the severity of the threat this conspiracy posed to the security of the United States.
Way to be a pioneer, Mr. Chen.
He was indicted under the FBI sting "Operation Smoking Dragon," which led to 87 people in SoCal and New Jersey being indicted for smuggling counterfeit currency, drugs and other goods to our fine nation.
The currency allegedly included $100 "supernotes," likely made in South Korea, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Chen, meanwhile, had the misfortune of arranging the shoulder-fire missile deal with ... an undercover agent.
The missiles, thank God, were never actually delivered.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.