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Man accused of selling U.S. spy plane on EBay

A pedestrian walks at the headquarters of eBay in San Jose
A pedestrian walks at the headquarters of eBay in San Jose

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla (Reuters) - A Philippine man was arrested and charged with illegally selling an unmanned U.S. spy plane known as the Raven, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa said on Monday.

A grand jury indicted Henson Chua, 47, of Manila on March 10 on charges that he sold the Raven to undercover federal agents on Ebay.

He faces up to 20 years in federal prison if convicted of smuggling and violating the Arms Export Control Act.

Chua was arrested when he came to Los Angeles in February.

The Raven is a four-pound plane equipped with three cameras that U.S. troops use for battlefield surveillance. It can be taken apart and carried by troops and then reassembled for use.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, agents with the Homeland Security Department found out last May that Chua was offering a Raven for sale on Ebay for $13,000.

They exchanged messages with Chua over several months, and he sent the Raven to them in separate packages in exchange for the money, officials said.

(Reporting by Robert Green; Editing by Colleen Jenkins and Peter Bohan)