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Man charged with trying to send Iran fighter-jet documents

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A former engineer for defense contractors was charged with trying to ship military documents to Iran, including materials related to the U.S. Air Force’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and jet engines.

Mozaffar Khazaee, 59, was arrested Jan. 9 at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey as he attempted to fly to Tehran, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut said in a prepared statement.

Khazaee, a native of Iran who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1991, formerly lived in Manchester, Conn., and recently moved to Indianapolis, prosecutors said. He was arrested after arriving from Indiana and before he was able to board a connecting flight to Frankfurt.

Federal agents began probing Khazaee, also known as Arash Khazaie, in November when U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the Homeland Security Department inspected a shipment he had sent to Long Beach, Calif., from Connecticut, bound for Hamadan, Iran, prosecutors said.

While documents accompanying the shipment indicated it contained household goods, a search revealed boxes of documents, including technical manuals, specification sheets and other materials related to the Joint Strike Fighter program and jet engines, according to court filings.

Khazaee is charged with transporting, transmitting and transferring in interstate or foreign commerce goods obtained by theft, conversion or fraud, and faces as long as 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

As recently as August, Khazaee worked as an engineer for defense contractors, including companies that own the documents and materials in his shipment, which he was required to return at the end of his employment, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors did not name the companies that Khazaee worked for, but Rolls-Royce North America in Indianapolis and Pratt & Whitney in Connecticut are heavily involved in the F-35 program.

Khazaee appeared Jan. 10 before U.S. Magistrate Judge James B. Clark III in Newark and is being detained pending his transport to Connecticut for further proceedings, prosecutors said. He was represented by the Federal Public Defender’s Office in New Jersey, said Tom Carson, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut.

A voice-mail message left with the public defender after regular business hours wasn’t immediately returned.

The FBI, Homeland Security and the Defense Criminal Investigative Service worked on the case in Indianapolis.

 

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  • A slap?
    Copy that DC! Not too easy to smuggle out documents like that. Who else knew?! Ten years and $250K, a mere slap. Justice? The AK-47 he now owns was given to him by the newest gun law that took mine away; One can only hope the buck doesn't get away from the bang this time.
  • What if he was one of our guys
    If it was the other side, and it was one of our guys, there would be no trial. No millions in taxpayer funded legal defense. Brian Williams might blame the US Government. Andrea Mitchell might blame the long gone Bush administration. But for our guy, it would be click, bang.
  • imagine that
    Copy that!! Pretty soon we'll be stealing our off shore technology. Saying that probably makes me a racist.

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