(CNN) — Three chinese citizens were sentenced to prison Thursday for entering a restricted area at a naval base in Key West, Florida, to take photos.
The chinese national Liao Lyuyou, 27, was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to unlawfully entering the restricted area within the Naval Air Station Key West in December and take photographs and videos, according to the u.s. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida.
In a separate case, Jielun Zhang, 25 years old, and Yuhao Wang, 24, were sentenced to 12 months and nine months in prison, respectively. Both men pleaded guilty to illegally enter a restricted area within the same naval base that Liao. They were also taking pictures, according to the attorney’s office for the Southern District of Florida.
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Liao was arrested on the 26th of December to enter the restricted area and take pictures of an annex and other government buildings near military installations sensitive. He was warned verbally not to do it, but he did so anyway, according to court documents.
Liao had eluded a security fence with “numerous warnings published”, according to the documents, and he continued walking in the restricted area and taking photos after that “the witnesses warned him verbally”. He later told the authorities that he reads and understands English better than you can speak it.
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According to the documents, Liao stated that he was trying to take photos of the sunrise after american military police approached him. He gave them permission to look at your camera where they saw pictures of the Annex Truman in the facility, as well as photos of other government buildings in the area.
A week later, Jielun and Yuhao came to the station guard in a Hyundai blue on January 4, in the Annex Sigsbee at the Naval Air Station in Key West, according to the criminal complaint.
When Jielun and Yuhao were not able to provide a military identification, a security officer of the navy told them that they should give the U-turn, and out of the facilities.
Jielun and Yuhaog not followed the instructions and, instead, stayed in the installation for approximately 30 minutes, according to the complaint.
The security agents of the Marina obtained consent to look at the cell phones and the camera in his possession, and showed photos of the property the Annex Sigsbee, including the military structures in Fleming Key.
The incident occurred shortly after two officials from the chinese embassy were “expelled in secret” by the united States last year after that they entered a military base “sensitive” near Norfolk, Virginia, according to The New York Times.
The New York Times he said that a half-dozen people with knowledge of the expulsions, said that the us officials believe that “at least one of the chinese officials, who were with their wives, was an intelligence agent operating under diplomatic protection”.
Paul LeBlanc of CNN contributed to this report.