Contraband arms dealers in South Florida?

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Arms dealers in South Florida? Is this déjà vu all over again? We truly are America's Casablanca.

The U.S. attorney in Miami just issued this release. Boy oh boychicle. First there was the South Beach party boy and his crappy weapons sold to the U.S. military and now this.

War is imminent with the Iranians. When the bombs drop on our boys, you can thank this gentleman in Plantation.

Read the press release issued by the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of Florida after the jump.

TWO MUNITIONS DEALERS INDICTED ON CHARGES OF EXPORTING MILITARY AIRCRAFT PARTS TO IRAN

R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Michael Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, Anthony V. Mangione, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations, and Sharon Woods, Director, U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, announced that a Federal Grand Jury sitting in Miami, Florida, returned an Indictment today charging defendants Hassan Saied Keshari, Traian Bujduveanu, Kesh Air International Corp., and Orion Aviation Corp. for their participation in a conspiracy to export military aircraft parts to Iran. The defendants are charged in an eleven (11) count Indictment with violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, the United States Iran Embargo, and the Arms Export Control Act for their involvement in a conspiracy to export U.S.-made military aircraft parts to Iran.

The Indictment charges the defendants with purchasing and selling military aircraft parts for profit in the United States and then arranging for their illegal export to Iran by way of the United Arab Emirates. Specifically, Count 1 of the Indictment charges all of the defendants with conspiracy to export goods to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Title 50 United States Code, Sections 1702 and 1705(a), and the United States Iran Embargo, and to export defense articles, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act, Title 22, United States Code, Section 2778(b). Counts 2 through 7 of the Indictment charge defendants Keshari and Bujduveanu with exporting military aircraft parts from the United States to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the United States Iran Embargo. Counts 8 and 9 of the Indictment charge defendants Keshari and Bujduveanu with exporting defense articles from the United States to Iran by way of Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act. Count 10 of the Indictment charges defendant Bujduveanu with making a false statement by misrepresenting the contents of a package containing military aircraft parts that was being exported from the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2). Count 11of the Indictment charges defendant Keshari with exporting aircraft parts from the United States to Iran, in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, Title 50 United States Code, Sections 1702 and 1705(a), and the United States Iran Embargo.

If convicted, the defendants face the following statutory maximum sentences: conspiracy: up to five (5) years’ imprisonment; violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Iran Embargo: up to twenty (20) years’ imprisonment; violations of the Arms Export Control Act: up to ten (10) years’ imprisonment; making false statements regarding a material matter within the jurisdiction of the executive branch of the United States: up to five (5) years’ imprisonment. In addition, the defendants face fines of up to $1 million.

According to the Indictment, Keshari owns and operates Kesh Air International, a business located in Novato, California. Bujduveanu owns and operates Orion Aviation Corp., located in Plantation, Florida. The Indictment alleges that since October 2006, Keshari and Bujduveanu have procured U.S.-made military aircraft parts in the United States for buyers in Iran and have illegally shipped the parts to a company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for shipment to buyers in Iran.

Among the aircraft parts that Keshari and Bujduveanu are alleged to have obtained and illegally shipped to buyers in Iran are parts for the Bell AH-1 (Cobra) Attack Helicopter, the CH-53A military helicopter, and the F-14 fighter jet (also known as the Tomcat). All of these aircraft are known to be used primarily, if not exclusively, by the Iranian military. Moreover, all of the parts supplied by Keshari and Bujduveanu are manufactured in the United States, are designed exclusively for military use, and have been designated by the United States Department of State as “defense articles” on the United States Munitions List, thus requiring registration and licensing with the DDTC. Neither Keshari nor Bujduveanu are registered or had the required license to ship defense articles to Iran.

The Indictment stems from an investigation into illegal exports by Keshari and Bujduveanu of military aircraft parts. According to the Indictment and other documents filed with the Court, Keshari received orders by email from buyers in Iran for specific aircraft parts. Keshari then requested quotes, usually by e-mail, from Bujduveanu and other suppliers in Miami Dade and Broward, and made arrangements for the sale and shipment of the parts to a company in Dubai. From Dubai, the parts were then shipped on to Iran. The Indictment alleges that the Keshari and Bujduveanu, through their businesses, Kesh Air International and Orion Aviation Corp, concealed the fact that they were exporting military aircraft parts by falsely stating the contents and value of packages being shipped to Dubai, UAE.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement, which led this investigation, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of Investigations, and the U.S. Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, for their work on this case. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melissa Damian.

- Chuck Strouse


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