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Houston woman accused of spying in China sentenced to 3.5 years

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HOUSTON – A Houston woman who has been held in China for years, accused of spying, has now been sentenced.

Sandy Phan-Gillis was on a trip with Houston officials in 2015 when she was detained at a checkpoint.

Since then, several local lawmakers and the State Department have been working to get answers.

On Tuesday, a judge in China handed down her sentence on the spying charges: 3 1/2 years.

Phan-Gillis' lawyer said considering time served and indications from a similar case, he thinks she could be deported back to the U.S. soon.