Posted: Sep 26, 2012 10:05 PM by CNN Wire Staff
NEW YORK - A Chinese national was charged on Wednesday in New York with trying to illegally export aerospace-grade carbon fiber to China, federal prosecutors said.
Ming Suan Zhang, 40, pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail, prosecutors said.
A criminal complaint unsealed on September 7 alleged that Zhang contacted an undercover law enforcement agent in an effort to finalize a deal to export thousands of pounds of the closely regulated material from New York to China.
Zhang allegedly stated that he had an urgent need for the fiber used in lightweight composite construction in connection with a scheduled test flight of a Chinese fighter jet.
Zhang was arrested after scheduling a meeting with the agent, prosecutors said.
A lawyer who represented Zhang could not immediately be reached for comment by CNN.
Carbon composites have been used for years in U.S. military aerospace.
"This technology in the wrong hands poses a serious threat to our national security," said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge James Hayes.
If convicted, Zhang faces up to 20 years in prison.