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October 10, 2007

Counter Proliferation Investigations ( CPI )


U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has led law enforcement efforts in export enforcement for more than 25 years utilizing the broadest export authorities within the U.S. government.

One of ICE's highest priorities is to prevent terrorist groups and hostile nations from illegally obtaining U.S. military products and sensitive technology, including weapons of mass destruction (WMD) components.  ICE's Counter Proliferation Investigations (CPI) Unit is responsible for overseeing a broad range of investigative activities related to such violations, including the enforcement of U.S. laws involving the export of military items and controlled dual-use goods, and sanctioned or embargoed countries. CPI priority programs address trafficking in WMD materials, sensitive dual-use commodities, and technologies sought by proliferant countries and terrorist groups such as Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) materials. Other programs address illegal exports of military equipment and spare parts to embargoed countries, significant financial and business transactions with proscribed countries and groups, and export enforcement training for private industry as well as state, local, and foreign agencies.

In an effort to strengthen the CPI program, ICE doubled the number of CPI-assigned agents since early 2006. As a result, record numbers of violators have been brought to justice. In fiscal year 2007, ICE's CPI agents made 186 arrests, obtained 159 indictments, and achieved 115 convictions.

Through an industry outreach program titled “Project Shield America ,” ICE's CPI agents also conduct presentations for U.S. manufacturers of arms and sensitive technology to educate them about export laws and to solicit their assistance in preventing illegal foreign acquisition of their products.  Since late 2001, ICE agents have conducted more than 14,600 industry outreach presentations, resulting in tips that have led to successful ICE criminal investigations nationwide and worldwide.

Notable ICE Counter Proliferation Investigations

Illegal Transfer and Export of Classified and Export Controlled Night Vision Technology -

On March 27, 2007, a joint ICE and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) investigation resulted in ITT Corporation Corporation pleading guilty to two counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act. Under the terms of the plea, ITT was required to pay $100 million in penalties and forfeitures. ITT is the 12 th largest supplier of sophisticated defense systems to the United States military. ITT's plea acknowledges their involvement in a scheme to outsource the production of some the most sophisticated pieces of the Generation III night vision system to foreign countries including China in order to reduce costs and enhance financial profits. Further, ITT allowed foreign nationals to work side-by-side with ITT engineers in their Roanoke facility without requisite authorization from the Department of State.

U.S. Origin Weapons to West Africa - On February 9, 2007, in the U. S. District Court, Southern District of California, a federal jury found Yssouf Diabate guilty of violating the Arms Export Control Act and Title 18, United States Code, Section 554: Smuggling Goods from the United States .  ICE agents arrested Diabate following an undercover meeting in which he tendered $13,320.00 as the remaining balance for the purchase and unlawful export of 38 handguns and various components to Cote D'Ivoire .  The guilty verdict is the first successful jury trial conviction using 18 USC 554. 

U.S. Fighter Jet and Helicopter Components to China- On May 17, 2006, Ko-Suen Moo entered a guilty plea in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida to export, bribery and conspiracy violations as well as acting as an agent of a foreign government. On July 25, 2006, Moo was sentenced to 78 months in prison and fined $1 million. Also, in excess of $344,000 in illegal proceeds were seized during the investigation. The plea and sentencing resulted from an ICE undercover operation, which identified Moo and a co-conspirator as seeking to acquire controlled technology for export to China . ICE agents determined that Moo and the co-conspirator were attempting to acquire F-16 military aircraft engines, Black Hawk helicopter engines, AGM-129 air-to-ground cruise missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead and air-to-air missiles for export from the United States to China without an export license. Moo met with undercover agents and negotiated a deal that would have resulted in the export of an F-16 engine to China .

Arms and Munitions destined to Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam - Beginning in March 2004, ICE undercover agents negotiated with Haji Subandi and his associates to illegally supply restricted military items to Iran , Vietnam , Laos , Indonesia and Sri Lanka . In April 2006, Subandi began negotiating on behalf of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for the purchase and export of weapons and ammunition. The LTTE is a Department of State designated foreign terrorist organization. In September 2006, following undercover meetings, ICE agents arrested Subandi and five co-conspirators in Guam . The six subjects were indicted for export and money laundering violations and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization. All six defendants pled guilty and in excess of $700,000 in currency was seized.

U.S. Fighter Jet Components to Iran - On June 5, 2006, Arif Ali Durrani was sentenced to 150 months in prison following his conviction for illegally exporting military aircraft components to Iran. One co-conspirator pled guilty to a conspiracy violation in August 2005 and was sentenced to five years of probation. Further, on October 18, 2005, a second Durrani co-conspirator pled guilty to export violations and was sentenced to 18 months in prison. Durrani was previously convicted following an ICE investigation for illegally exporting HAWK missile components to Iran .

U.S. Military Aircraft Parts to Indonesia - In April 2005, ICE Detroit and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service initiated an investigation of an Indonesian-based company, Indodial that was attempting to identify companies that would sell military aircraft parts for export to Indonesia .  On June 23, 2005, undercover ICE agents met in London with Ibrahim Amran of Indodial to discuss the purchase and export of military aircraft parts to Indonesia .  Amran subsequently agreed to purchase F-5 and OV-10 military aircraft parts from ICE undercover agents. In December 2005, ICE undercover agents met with Amran and Amran's business partner, Hadianto Djuliarso, in Detroit to finalize the sale and shipment of the military aircraft parts to Indonesia via Singapore .  Djuliarso and Amran agreed to buy and ship the military aircraft parts without an export license to Indonesia .  Following an additional undercover meeting, a total of four subjects were arrested for their involvement in a scheme to export the aircraft components.  All four subjects pled guilty and in excess of $600,000 in illegal proceeds were forfeited.

U.S. Anti-Submarine Torpedo Technology to South Korea - On December 21, 2006, Stuart Choi pled guilty to an export violation for his role in a scheme to illegally export U.S. anti-submarine torpedo technology to South Korea.  The ICE investigation revealed that the technology was destined for the South Korean “Blue Shark” anti-submarine torpedo program made public during the summer of 2006.

U.S. Night Vision Technology to China - On December 11, 2006, William Wain Lin Lam, pled guilty in the District of Connecticut to one count of 18 USC 554: Smuggling Goods from the United States.  The conviction was the result of an ICE and Defense Criminal Investigative Service undercover investigation, which revealed that Lam was seeking to purchase and export U.S. Generation III night vision devices to China .  The conviction marks first successful guilty plea involving 18 USC 554, which was enacted in March 2006.

Illegal Export of U.S. Military Aircraft and Missile Technology - On August 9, 2006, Kal Nelson Aviation Incorporated tendered a $1 million criminal penalty following a guilty plea to violating 22 USC 2778: the Arms Export Control Act.  An ICE undercover investigation revealed that Kal Nelson illegally exported F-14, A-6, F-106 military aircraft components and LQ-5 missile parts without approval from the Department of State.    

U.S. Sophisticated Technology to Iran- On December 5, 2006, Seyed Rohani pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and Iranian Transaction Regulations.  As part of the plea, Rohani agreed to forfeit $72 thousand that he used to purchase a magnetostrictive sensor and related software that he intended to export to Iran via Canada . 

U.S. Missile Components to China - On June 13, 2006, Michael Dorfman and State Metal Industries Incorporated entered guilty pleas for their roles in a scheme to illegally export Sparrow Missile components to China .  Dorfman and State Metals attempted to export the missile components, which were secreted amongst a shipment of scrap metal.  The shipment was manifested as scrap metals and the missile components were discovered upon inspection by CBP.

U.S. Fighter Jet Components to Iran – On July 6, 2005, Iranian businessman Abbas Tavakolian was sentenced to 57 months incarceration after pleading guilty to Arms Export Control Act and money laundering violations.  Tavakolian pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to illegally export F-4 and F-14 fighter jet components including a 20mm canon to Iran .  Tavakolian arranged for $20 thousand to be wired to undercover ICE agents as a down payment for the arms deal, which totaled approximately $380 thousand.  In December 2004, ICE agents arrested Tavakolian following an undercover meeting and payment of $100 thousand to finalize the deal.

Night Vision Technology and Electronics Components to China - On September 28, 2005, Zhao Xin Zhu was sentenced to 24 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy, 18 USC 371.  An ICE investigation led to the arrest of Zhu and John Chu for conspiring to violate the Arms Export Control Act (AECA): 22 USC 2778 and 18 USC 371.  On May 18, 2004, a federal grand jury indicted Sunny Bai, Zhu and Chu for their efforts to obtain U.S. origin Generation III night vision equipment, military grade power converters and traveling wave tubes used in satellite and radar applications for export to the PRC.   

Assault Rifles to Colombian Terrorist Organization – On April 19, 2005, ICE agents arrested Alberto Correa, a Colombian national, in Fort Lauderdale , Fla. , on charges of violating the Arms Export Control Act.  During several undercover meetings, Correa had negotiated and attempted to purchase 80 AK-47 assault rifles, an M-60 machine gun, and an M-16 machine gun for illegal export to the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) in Colombia , a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.  On June 8, 2005, Correa pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act.  Subsequent investigation resulted in the arrest and subsequent convictions of two co-conspirators.

U.S. Aircraft Parts to Iran - On August 7, 2006, Mohammad Fazeli, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Iran , was sentenced in the Central District of California to 12 months incarceration after pleading guilty in May 2006 to violating one count of 50 USC 1701-1705, International Emergency Economic Powers Act.  The ICE investigation revealed that FAZELI attempted to unlawfully export 103 pressure sensors to Iran , which are applicable to black box data recording devices for aircraft.

Missile and Fighter Jet Components to China – On April 12, 2005, Xiuwen “Jennifer” Liang was sentenced to 30 months imprisonment and fined $6 thousand in Los Angeles for conspiring to illegally export parts for the F-14 fighter jet and components for the HAWK, TOW and AIM-9 Sidewinder missile systems to China.  ICE agents arrested Liang and her husband, Jinghua Zhuang in February 2003 as a result of a lengthy undercover investigation targeting U.S. companies that illegally sold defense articles over the Internet to foreign buyers.  Zhuang was previously sentenced to 30 months imprisonment for his role in the scheme.

Chemical Weapons Components to Iraq – On December 23, 2005, following a trial in the Netherlands , Frans Van Anraat was found guilty of one count of “Conspiracy to Commit War Crimes.”  Van Anraat was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for his role in a scheme to export U.S. origin precursor chemicals to Iraq .  Van Anraat arranged for four shipments of thiodiglycol totaling more than 530 tons from the United States to Iraq in 1987 and 1988.  Thiodiglycol is a precursor chemical for mustard gas.  ICE agents determined that Van Anraat had purchased the chemicals from a Baltimore company called Alcolac International, Inc.  Van Anraat was charged in Baltimore in 1989 and subsequently arrested in Italy on a U.S. arrest warrant. Italian authorities later released Van Anraat, who fled to Iraq where he purportedly remained until 2003.  In February 2004, Dutch authorities began working with ICE and the U.S. Justice Department to bring charges against Van Anraat in the Netherlands , where Van Anraat had returned.  In March 2004, ICE turned over significant evidence against Van Anraat to Dutch authorities, ultimately helping to bring charges against him. 

Components with Nuclear Weapons Applications to Pakistan & India – On August 4, 2005, Asher Karni was sentenced in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to 36 months incarceration.  Karni previously pleaded guilty to 50 USC 1701, Conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEPPA) and 15 CFR Parts 730-774 of the Export Administration Regulations.  In addition, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia unsealed an indictment against Humayun Khan, 47, of Pakistan , charging him with illegally exporting oscilloscopes with nuclear weapons applications to Pakistan .  Kahn was also charged with plotting to illegally export 66 nuclear detonator devices from the U.S. to Pakistan , via South Africa and the United Arab Emirates .  Karni and Khan attempted to illegally export oscilloscopes and nuclear triggers to Pakistan .  Karni also pled guilty to charges that he illegally exported sensitive U.S. electronics to facilities in India that are involved in that nation's nuclear and missile development program.  The indictment of Khan and the guilty plea by Karni resulted from an extensive investigation by ICE agents in Boston , Denver , and South Africa and the U.S. Department of Commerce. 

Iran Embargo Violations – On January 11, 2006, Gastech Corporation pled guilty to one count of violating the Iranian Transactions Regulations.  As part of the plea, Gastech agreed to forfeit $50 thousand in proceeds and to pay a $33 thousand civil penalty to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.  On April 6, 2005, a grand jury in the Northern District of Okla. returned an indictment against Gastech for evading and avoiding the Iranian Transaction Regulations in connection with a $12 million contract it signed with the National Iranian Gas Company using businesses located in Canada .  The President and CEO of Gastech, Parviz Khosrowyar, a U.S. citizen of Iranian descent, was previously indicted on the same charges, but failed to appear for trial on March 28, 2005.  An Interpol red notice was issued worldwide for his arrest.   

Assault Rifles to Colombian Terrorist Organization – On April 1, 2005, Guillermo Cardoso-Arias was sentenced to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty in federal court in Miami to illegal arms brokering activities and attempting to illegally export 200 fully-automatic AK-47 assault rifles without the required U.S. export license.  In law enforcement monitored conversations, Cardoso-Arias stated that he was buying the AK-47s for the Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), a designated foreign terrorist organization in Colombia .

Sensitive Military Technology to China – On July 29, 2004, seven individuals were indicted on export violations alleging that they used their two companies, Universal Technologies, Inc., (Unitek) and Manten Electronics, Inc., to illegally export sensitive national-security controlled items to state-sponsored institutes in China .  The individuals were illegally exporting millions of dollars worth of items used in a variety of defense weapons systems, including smart weapons, radar, electronic warfare and communications systems.  On September 13, 2005, four of the co-conspirators pleaded guilty and on May 1, 2006, the four received sentences ranging from 24 months probation to 44 months in prison.

Military Night Vision Equipment to China – In December 2005, Howard Hsy pled guilty to one count of 18 USC 371, Conspiracy, for his involvement in the scheme to illegally export controlled items.  ICE agents launched an investigation into Hsy in August 2003 for the illegal export of plastic optical filters suitable for night vision lighting, night vision goggles with helmet mounts for fixed-wing and rotary aircraft, as well as liquid crystal displays that can be integrated into avionics.  On October 12, 2005, a U.S. citizen who conspired with Hsy to obtain night vision goggles for illegal export pleaded guilty to an export violation. 

Sensitive U.S. Technology to Iran – On September 14, 2005, Juan Sevilla pled guilty to two counts of violating 50 USC Sections(s) 1702: International Emergency Economic Powers Act; and 1705(b): Iranian Transaction Regulations.  On March 1, 2005, a federal grand jury in Chicago returned a two-count indictment charging Sevilla, the sales director of United Calibration Corp, of Huntington Beach, Calif., with attempting to illegally export sensitive U.S. technology to Iran in violation of the U.S. embargo on Iran.  According to the indictment, Sevilla attempted to export a machine that measures the tensile strength of steel and related software technologies from Calif. , through Chicago , to Iran , in violation of the embargo. 

Weapons to Colombian Terrorist Group – On August 8, 2005, Carlos Gamarra-Murrillo was sentenced to 25 years federal imprisonment following his guilty plea to charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and violating the Arms Export Control Act.  The plea was the result of an ICE investigation that showed Gamarra-Murillo plotted to provide nearly $4 million worth of arms to Colombia 's Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC).  Gamarra-Murillo sought to illegally export roughly 4,000 grenades, 1,800 assault rifles, as well as 60 grenade launchers and 60 machine guns to Colombia via Venezuela .  In April 2004, Gamarra-Murrillo was arrested after providing ICE agents with a down payment for the weapons. 

Controlled Items to Iranian Ballistic Missile Facility – On September 22, 2005, Mohammed Farahbakhsh was sentenced to time served following an investigation.  Farahbakhsh, Hamid Fathololoomy, as well as their U.A.E.-based companies Diamond Technology and Akeed Trading Company, were indicted for conspiring to illegally export goods to Iran via the U.A.E.  The indictment alleges that the defendants shipped computer goods from a Texas company to an entity in Iran affiliated with that nation's ballistic missile program.  In addition, the indictment alleges that they illegally exported a satellite communication system and other goods to Iran . 

Military Laser Sights to Foreign Locations – On April 27, 2005, Sotaro Inami, a Japanese national, was sentenced to 15 months incarceration for conspiracy to export U.S. Munitions List articles to Japan .  On January 28, 2005, Inami pleaded guilty in federal court in Philadelphia to one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act.  Inami, and a co-conspirator Takashi Matsubara had been charged in July 2004 as a result of an undercover ICE and Defense Criminal Investigative Service investigation.  According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to purchase and illegally export military laser sights for M-16 and M-5 rifles to locations outside the United States . 

U.S. Missile Components to the Middle East - On December 15, 2004, Leib Kohn, L&M Manufacturing Corporation and Nesco NY Incorporated, each pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act in U.S. District Court, Conn.   ICE agents arrested Kohn in N. Y. on March 19, 2004.  According to the indictment, Kohn and his companies purchased from U.S. vendors sensitive military items, including components for HAWK missiles, military radars and F-4 Phantom fighter jet aircraft.  Kohn then exported these items to QPS, a company in Israel , while knowingly failing to obtain the required export license.  ICE worked closely with the Israeli National Police, who searched the QPS facility in March 2004 and found the missile components illegally exported by Kohn.  Israeli National Police arrested Eli Cohen after searching the QPS facility in Israel .  Israeli authorities had investigated Cohen in the past for allegedly transferring arms to Iran .

U.S. Fighter Jet Components to Iran – On May 16, 2005, Sherzhik Avassapian was sentenced to 41 months federal imprisonment following a guilty plea in Miami to one count of making false statements.  On September 18, 2003 ICE agents in Miami arrested Avassapian after he arrived in Miami on a flight from Europe to meet with undercover ICE agents and inspect U.S. military items.  Documents outlining the proposed arms deal were found by ICE agents stuffed under the bed mattress in Avassapian's Miami hotel room.  The charges resulted from an undercover ICE investigation that revealed that Avassapian attempted to purchase in Fla. and illegally export roughly $750 thousand worth of U.S. F-14 fighter jet components to the Iranian military, via Italy .  According to the indictment, Avassapian solicited these military parts from undercover ICE agents in the United States , and then discussed the transshipment of these parts through third countries, including Italy , to conceal Iran as the ultimate destination.  Finally, he inspected the components in the United States and provided a down payment for their purchase. 

U.S. Military Night Vision Systems to Iran – On December 3, 2004, ICE agents and Austrian authorities thwarted a plot to illegally supply the Iranian military with thousands of advanced military night vision systems from the United States .  The investigation began in 2002, when ICE agents learned that an arms broker in Tehran was seeking 3,000 helmet-mounted Generation III U.S. military night vision goggles for the Iranian military from vendors in the United States .  In September 2004, Iranian nationals Mahmoud Seif and Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan began negotiations to take delivery of a first night vision shipment in Austria , noting their direct contacts with the Iranian government.  ICE agents began working with Austrian authorities to ensure that arrests could be made in Austria . Austrian authorities arrested Seif and Gholikhan after the pair took possession of the first night vision system at a meeting in Austria . On September 13, 2005, a Southern District of Fla. grand jury handed down superceding indictments of Seuf, Hamid Kargar, and Gholikhan for their involvement in an attempt to procure Generation III Night Vision Goggles for the government of Iran . All three subjects are fugitives.

Missile and Fighter Jet Components to China / Iran – On November 18, 2004, a federal judge in Washington, D.C. ordered Los Angeles aircraft parts supplier Interaero Inc. to pay a $500 thousand fine and serve five years of corporate probation for illegally exporting components for the HAWK missile, the F-4 Phantom fighter jet and the F-5 Phantom/Tiger fighter jet to China between June 2000 and March 2001. Interaero pleaded guilty in August 2004. The conviction of Interaero was the eleventh in Calif. and the District of Columbia to result from a 5-year undercover ICE investigation that targeted aircraft parts suppliers that sold defense articles over the Internet to foreign buyers without obtaining the required U.S. export licenses or complying with the arms embargoes.  For example, on August 3, 2004, Amanullah Khan, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty to a four-count criminal indictment in Los Angeles alleging that Khan and his Anaheim, Calif., company, United Aircraft & Electronics, illegally exported F-4 and F-5 fighter jets to China. Khan's partner in United Aircraft & Electronics, Ziad Jamil Gammoh, a U.S. citizen, pleaded guilty on June 24, 2004 to the same charges.  On July 29, 2004, Mexpar International, another defendant in the undercover investigation, was sentenced in Los Angeles to three years probation and a fine of $75 thousand for illegally exporting components for F-4 fighter jets, Hawk missiles, and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles to China . Ahmad Nahardani and Gabriela De Brea, who operated Mexpar International, pleaded guilty to arms export violations in September 2003.  On Sept. 9, 2004, De Brea was sentenced to one-year incarceration. Nahardani received a sentence of 21 months federal imprisonment. On November 7, 2005 Gammoh was sentenced to 78 months in prison for his part in the conspiracy.  On November 28, 2005, Khan was sentenced to 188 months in prison for his part in the conspiracy.

Military Helicopter Engines and Night Vision Systems to China – On August 30, 2005, Kwonhwan Park was sentenced to 32 months federal imprisonment to be followed by deportation from the United States for his role in a scheme to illegally export U.S. technology to China .  On November 10, 2004, Park, a South Korean citizen, pleaded guilty in New Haven , Conn. , to violating the Arms Export Control Act for illegally exporting Black Hawk helicopter engines and other military items to China . ICE agents arrested Park in Virginia on April 1, 2004 as he attempted to board a plane bound for China with military night vision equipment in his luggage.  ICE agents in New Haven had been investigating Park for two years after his Malaysian company bought two military helicopter engines from a U.S. firm and illegally exported them to China .  He then attempted to buy four more such engines from a U.S. manufacturer, which notified ICE agents.  ICE agents tracked Park as he entered the United States in March 2004 and arrested him as he attempted to depart with night vision technology. The government of South Korea worked closely with ICE on the investigation, prosecuting Yung Jean Sohn, a former South Korean military official, on charges of forging an end-user certificate falsely indicating that military helicopter engines purchased by Park were bound for legitimate parties overseas. 

Missile Components to China – On October 6, 2004, Ting-Ih Hsu, a naturalized U.S. citizen and president of Azure Systems, Inc, and Hai Lin Nee, a Chinese citizen and an employee of Azure systems, were sentenced to three years probation for false statements in connection with illegally exporting to China 25 low-noise amplifier chips that have applications in U.S. Hellfire missile systems. ICE agents arrested the pair in Orlando , Florida , on March 12, 2004, on charges of violating the Export Administration Act, conspiracy, and false statements.  According to the indictment, the defendants falsely labeled the amplifier chips in export documents as “transistors” worth some $20. 

Restricted Electronic Equipment to China – On September 30, 2004, ICE agents arrested four individuals in Milwaukee and Manitowac , Wisconsin on charges of conspiring to illegally export more than $500 thousand in restricted electronic components to China .  The components in question could be used in a wide variety of military radar and communications applications.  Those arrested were Ning Wen, Hailin Lin, Jian Guo Qu, and Ruo Ling Wang. On May 3, 2005, Jian Guo Qu and Ruo Ling Wang pleaded guilty to conspiracy and violation of Title 50 U.S.C. 1705(b).  Wang was sentenced to 6 months time served and fined $1,500.  Qu was sentenced to 46 months federal imprisonment and fined $2 thousand.  On July 8, 2005, Hailin Lin pleaded guilty to conspiracy and money laundering. On September 21, 2005, in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee , Wis. , Ning Wen was convicted at trial for his direct involvement in a scheme to illegally export dual-use semi-conductors and other electronic components from the U.S. to China without proper export licenses. On December 21, 2005, Hailin Lin was sentenced to 42 months incarceration and was ordered to pay a $50 thousand fine.  On January 18, 2006, Wen was sentenced to 60 months incarceration and was ordered to pay a $50 thousand fine.

Military Assault Weapons to Philippines – Following a guilty plea received on September 20, 2004, Victor “the Devil” Infante, the accused leader of an international firearms and methamphetamine distribution organization was sentenced to 135 months incarceration. ICE agents arrested Infante after a 9-month investigation that involved law enforcement agencies in the Philippines , N. Y., N. J., Calif. , and La. Infante was charged with the attempted export of assault weapons, including MAC-11 submachine guns, MP-5s, HK-94s, Colt AR-15s, and Uzi Model Bs, to the Philippines . He was also charged with importing thousands of dollars of “meth” to N. Y. and N. J.  Infante was arrested by authorities in the Philippines and turned over to ICE/FBI custody.  Philippine authorities contend that Infante supplied arms to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist organization.

Weapons to Colombian Terrorist Groups – On August 19, 2004, a federal grand jury in Miami, Fla. charged seven individuals with conspiracy to illegally export arms, ammunition and other military supplies to organized paramilitary groups in Colombia, including the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) and the Auto Defensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC), both of which are U.S. designated terrorist groups.  The investigation, which began after agents responded to a flooded warehouse in Miami that contained weapons destined for South America , ultimately resulted in the seizure of more than 200 weapons and more than 700,000 rounds of ammunition. 

U.S. Fighter Jet to Colombia in Plot to Assassinate Drug Baron – On June 29, 2004, veteran British mercenary and longtime fugitive David Tomkins pleaded guilty in Miami to federal charges of violating the Arms Export Control Act.  Tomkins was charged in Miami in 1994 in connection with a scheme to buy an A-37 fighter jet from undercover ICE agents in 1991.  At the time, Tomkins intended to use the fighter jet to bomb a Colombian prison that housed Pablo Escobar, the previous chief of Colombia 's Medellin drug cartel.  Tomkins was being paid millions to assassinate Escobar by the rival Cali drug cartel in Colombia .  Tomkins fled the United States prior to his 1994 indictment.  He remained a fugitive until his arrest in 2003.  On October 8, 2004, Tomkins was subsequently sentenced to 33 months federal imprisonment.

Military Night Vision Technology to China – On June 3, 2004, the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Calif. announced that Philip Cheng and Martin Shih and San Jose company Night Vision Technology were indicted by a federal grand jury for illegally brokering the sale of military and commercial-grade night vision technology to China .  Court documents in the case alleged that the pair had entered into a contract with the Chinese military to produce technology for night vision equipment in China . The defendants were also charged with money laundering and other export violations. 

Military Helicopter Components to Iran / Foreign Purchasers – On May 10, 2004, Rotair Industries, Inc., a military helicopter parts manufacturer in Bridgeport , Conn. pled guilty to two counts of illegally exporting U.S. defense articles.  The company also agreed to pay a criminal fine of $500 thousand.  In addition, Wesley Harrington, a Rotair officer and the son of the company owner, Herbert Harrington, pleaded guilty to attempting to impede ICE agents during a search of Rotair's offices by attempting to dismantle his computer.  ICE agents launched their probe of Rotair after items made by the firm were found to have ended up in Iran .  Undercover ICE investigations confirmed that Rotair was illegally exporting military helicopter parts without the required export licenses and approvals, even though the company had been specifically warned against such exports by the U.S. State Department.  In both cases, Rotair negotiated with and sold restricted military items to undercover ICE companies posing as international arms purchasers.

Missile Components to China – On March 5, 2004, Zhan Gao, a well-known U.S. human rights activist and scholar who had been jailed by Chinese authorities in 2001 for allegedly spying for Taiwan , was sentenced in the Eastern District of Va. for illegally exporting sensitive U.S. technology with potential military applications to China .  The technology exported by Gao could be used in missile guidance and airborne battle management systems.  Gao and her husband, Donghua Xue, pleaded guilty in November 2003 to illegal arms export and tax fraud violations.  Gao and Xue agreed to forfeit roughly $590 thousand that they had received from China as payment for the exports.  Gao received a sentence of 15 months, including 7 months imprisonment followed by 8 months community confinement.

U.S. Fighter Jet and Military Helicopter Components to Iran / Taiwan  – On February 19, 2004, Camnetics Manufacturing Corporation in Utah pled guilty to making false statements. In May 2004, Camnetics Vice President, William Manning, pleaded guilty to obstruction charges.  Camnetics was fined $25 thousand and William Manning was sentenced to three years probation and fined $5 thousand.  Camnetics illegally exported components for F-4 fighter jets and S-65 Sikorsky military assault helicopters to undercover ICE agents. Undercover negotiations indicated that the military components were destined for Iran .  On December 10, 2002, the undercover investigation resulted in federal charges against Camnetics Manufacturing Corporation in Utah and its vice president, William Manning; Equipment and Supply International of N. C. and its chief Andrew Adams; as well as Rick's Manufacturing and Supply Company of Okla. , and Jami S. Choudhury.  Each was charged in the Eastern District of Wis. with violating the Arms Export Control Act for illegally exporting components for F-4 fighter jets, S-65 Sikorsky military assault helicopters and other aircraft to undercover ICE agents. In all cases except Choudhury's, the undercover negotiations indicated that the military components were destined for Iran .  Equipment and Supply International was sentenced to 2 years probation and fined $50 thousand.  Andrew Adams, president of Equipment and Supply International, was sentenced to 3 years probation and fined $25 thousand.  Rick's Manufacturing and Supply International was fined $50 thousand.  Jami S. Choudhury was sentenced to 37 months incarceration, 36 months probation and was fined $2 thousand.

Missile Technology to China – On Nov. 18, 2003, ICE agents in Haverhill , Mass. , arrested William Kovacs, the president of Elatec Technology Corporation (ETC).  On Nov. 13, 2003, Kovacs and his company ETC were indicted by a grand jury in Washington D.C. for conspiracy, aiding and abetting, and violations of the Export Administration Act. A joint ICE/Commerce investigation had determined that ETC had exported a sophisticated industrial furnace with potential missile applications to a firm in China known as Chinese Great Wall.  ETC had exported the furnace to China even after its export license for this shipment was denied by the Commerce Department.  On May 28, 2004, Kovacs pleaded guilty and on October 4, 2006, Kovacs was sentenced to one year and a day in prison.

Military Patrol Vessels to Iraq – On October 15, 2003, a federal grand jury in Washington , D.C. charged Sabri Yakou, 69, and his son Regard Yakou, 43, with violations of the Arms Export Control Act for allegedly brokering the sale of 6 armored patrol boats, worth a total of $11 million, to the former regime in Iraq .  The case was the first to result from the deployment of ICE teams to Iraq in March 2003 to investigate whether U.S. people or entities had violated U.S. laws or U.N. sanctions by supplying the Hussein regime with munitions and other materials.  On October 31, 2006, Yakou pleaded guilty to 18 USC 1001, False Statements.

Equipment with Nuclear Applications to Pakistani Military – On Sept. 23, 2003, Omega Engineering of Stamford, Connecticut, was sentenced to pay $313 thousand in criminal fines and an $187 thousand civil penalty. On Sept. 22, 2003, the Chief Financial Officer of Omega was sentenced to 60 months.  Omega and its CFO had willfully disregarded the denial of a U.S. export license, and illegally exported laboratory equipment with nuclear and non-nuclear applications to the Pakistan .

U.S. Missile and Fighter Jet Components to Iranian Arms Network (Multicore  I & II) – On July 10, 2003, ICE agents executed federal search warrants on 18 U.S. companies in 10 states suspected of violating the Arms Export Control Act.  The ICE investigation indicated that these U.S. companies had illegally exported thousands of missile and fighter jet components to Multicore, Ltd. (aka AKS Industries), an Iranian front company in London that procures weapons systems worldwide directly for the Iranian military.  Among the items allegedly exported were components for U.S. HAWK missiles, F-14 fighter jets, F-5 fighter jets, F-4 fighter jets, C-130 military aircraft, military radars and other equipment.  Agents received information about a company in Bakersfield , Calif. , called Multicore, Ltd (a subsidiary of Multicore London), that was involved in the purchase of F-14 fighter jet parts from U.S. companies.  In December 2000, agents searched Multicore's storage facility in Bakersfield and seized thousands of aircraft and missile components that were bound for Iran via Singapore .  Agents documented more than 270 shipments of military components delivered to Multicore in Bakersfield from various U.S. companies for export.  Agents also arrested Multicore officers Saeed Homayouni and Yew Ling Fung on arms export violations.  In June 2001, Homayouni pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act.  Fung pleaded guilty to misprision of a felony.  Both were sentenced in the Southern District of Calif. in September 2001.  Based upon information uncovered in December 2000, British authorities launched an investigation into Multicore London.  In early May 2002, Her Majesty's Customs and Excise Service (U.K) executed search warrants on Multicore's London office, one residence and two storage facilities.  They also arrested Soroosh Homayouni (the brother of Saeed Homayouni) and Mahboubeh Eshraghi in London .  Both Iranian citizens, these individuals were charged by British authorities with violating UK export regulations.  The searches in London yielded thousands of missile and fighter jet components, as well as documents from the government of Iran requesting that Multicore in London purchase military components around the globe.

Components for Howitzers, Military Radars to Pakistan – On June 12, 2003, Yasmin Ahmed and Tariq Ahmed pled guilty to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act.  The ICE investigation determined that the couple had purchased in the U.S. and attempted to illegally export to Pakistan parts for Howitzer canons, military radars and armored personnel carriers.  As part of this investigation, Allen Haller and his Florida-based company, Mart Haller, Inc., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to illegally export military components to a Pakistani company in the United Arab Emirates .  Yasmin Ahmed was sentenced to time served and Tariq Ahmed was sentenced to 24 months incarceration.

Drone Components to Pakistan – On May 29, 2003, ICE agents in Chicago arrested Mariam Aidroos, a Pakistani national, on charges of false statements in connection with the attempted export of components for unmanned aerial vehicles or “drones” to Pakistan .  ICE agents determined that the woman was attempting to export these goods to an individual affiliated with the Pakistani military. In May 2004, Aidroos was sentenced to three years of probation.

Military Aircraft and Engines to Libya – On March 26, 2003, Klaus Ernst Buhler, a German commercial pilot, pled guilty to a two-count indictment out of Tampa , Fla. , charging him with conspiracy to illegally export engines for C-130 military aircraft and CH-47 Chinook helicopters to Libya .  During the investigation, the pilot also negotiated with undercover ICE agents to buy four complete aircraft, two of which he said were for intended for Moammar Qadaffi's use.  In June 2003, Buhler was sentenced to 30 months federal imprisonment and three years supervised release.

Military Radar Components to Iran – On March 20, 2003, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Md. announced a superseding indictment against Eric Chang and David Chu on charges of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act and money laundering.  The charges resulted from an undercover ICE probe, which began after Chang and Chu allegedly contacted a Md. company in January 2002 about purchasing satellite space images of Tehran .  ICE agents launched a probe using an undercover business in Md.   The defendants allegedly then attempted to purchase from undercover ICE agents military radar detection electronics (spiral-backed antennas for U.S. fighter jets) for export to Iran , via Guam and Taiwan .  ICE agents arrested Chu in February 2003 after an undercover meeting in Guam as he attempted to board a flight for Taiwan with the military antennas.  On November 14, 2003, Chang pleaded guilty. 

Satellite Technology to China – On March 4, 2003, Hughes Electronics Corp. and Boeing Satellite Systems, Inc. entered into a civil settlement with the State Department in which the companies agreed to pay a $32 million fine, $8 million of which would go to ICE.  The agreement settled charges that the firms had illegally shared sensitive satellite technology/know-how with China .

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was established in March 2003 as the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. ICE is comprised of five integrated divisions that form a 21st century law enforcement agency with broad responsibilities for a number of key homeland security priorities.

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