Suspect sought in alleged scheme to sell phony rifle sights online
Federal authorities were seeking Tuesday to arrest the co-owner of an Anaheim online gun equipment business who they said tried to sell hundreds of counterfeit, holographic rifle sights over the Internet.
Now a fugitive believed to be in China, Yongming “Steven” Sui, 53, chief executive officer of Field Sport Inc., was charged by state prosecutors with two felony counts -- manufacturing and selling a counterfeit mark (a form of trademark infringement) and possession of an assault weapon.
Sui faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months in state prison.
Also charged in the state criminal complaint were Sui's colleagues -- co-owner Isaac Cheuk Hang Tse, 65, of Rowland Heights, and Pao Sheng Yang, 34, of Corona, the firm's business manager. Both are alleged to have engaged in manufacturing and selling a counterfeit mark and possessing an assault weapon.
The charges stem from an investigation that began in early March after U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers were conducting a routine mail inspection at an Alaska sorting center and found 700 counterfeit rifle sights and 200 magnifier systems in a shipment sent from China to Field Sport’s headquarters, said ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice.
The knock-off magnifiers and gun sights, which were shipped from China, help weapons users aim and fire at targets with greater accuracy and speed. Based in Michigan, EO Tech has a copyright on the manufacture and sale of the holographic rifle sights sold by the defendants. The brand is popular with law enforcement and the military.
“Anytime you purchase a knock-off or pirated product, it’s a virtual certainty the quality and reliability will be inferior to the genuine article," said Claude Arnold, special agent in charge for ICE's Homeland Security Investigations in Los Angeles. "When you’re talking about counterfeit gun sights, the implications are frightening.”
At the time of Tse and Yang’s arrest, HSI agents and Anaheim Police Department detectives executed a state search warrant at Field Sport’s headquarters and recovered two fully operational assault rifles, along with another 778 counterfeit EOTech holographic gun sights.
Investigators calculate the approximate retail value of that seizure at more than $400,000.
Tse was being held on a $20,000 bail, and Yang was released after posting $20,000 bond. Both men are scheduled for a continued arraignment April 22 at the North Justice Center in Fullerton.
-- Andrew Blankstein
Photos: (top) A counterfeit gun sight seized by authorities. Credit: ICE
(bottom) Yongming “Steven” Sui, 53. Credit: ICE