High-Tech Sting

Taking the low road to China

When the four men and one woman strolled out of an office building in Shrewsbury, N.J., near New York City, they thought they had just wrapped up a $1.25 million business deal. Instead, they had stumbled into a trap. Twenty U.S. customs agents surrounded and handcuffed the five. The charge: conspiring to smuggle classified, high-technology military equipment to China.

The sting was part of Operation Exodus, an effort led by the Customs Service to stem the illicit export of defense-related technology. In this case, an undercover agent...

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