JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Navy lieutenant and his wife whose Jacksonville home was raided Oct. 17 by the FBI and NCIS made their first appearance at the federal courthouse downtown Wednesday for a detention hearing.
A judge ruled Lieutenant Fan Yang and his wife Yang "Yuki" Yang will remain in custody pending trial.
"We're disappointed with the outcome," Fan Yang's attorney Dale Carson said. "It was a well-written complaint on behalf of the government, but their truth is not necessarily our truth."
Fan Yang's stepfather and mother and Yuki Yang's stepfather were at the hearing. Yuki Yang's mother was at home taking care of the couple's 2-year-old and 5-year-old children.
Fan Yang's stepfather gasped while on the edge of his seat in the courtroom as the judge read her decision. The Yang's parents were somber leaving the courthouse.
The government argued against granting the Yangs release from custody, stating a concern for national security. The government argued the Yangs are a flight risk and the knowledge Fan Yang has from holding a top-secret security clearance could be used as a bargaining chip to flee back to China.
The Yang's attorneys disagree, stating, "We have to look at what they're actually claiming and see if it's true or not. Simply because they say it's true doesn't make it so."
The Yangs attorneys argued the couple doesn't have deep ties to China, that most of their family lives in the US. They also said being released on condition would be better for the Yang's two young children.
The accusations against the couple include conspiracy to defraud the United States, importing and manufacturing firearms, transfer of a firearm to a non-resident and conspiracy to violate federal law, specifically knowing the submission of false and misleading export information.
Fan Yang is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm by an alien admitted under a non-immigrant visa. His wife is accused of submitting false and misleading export information and fraudulently trying to export illegal merchandise from the U.S. to China.