WILMINGTON, Del. - A man from Avondale, Ariz., pleaded guilty on Thursday to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act for attempting to illegally export materials to Iran. The charges resulted from an undercover investigation initiated by U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) after a laptop computer was seized in October 2007 from Iranian procurement agent Amir Hossein Ardebili.
According to documents filed with the Court and statements made during the guilty plea hearing, from August 2008 through February 2009, James Larrison, 40, attempted to export to the Islamic Republic of Iran two Hitachi JU-Z2 Junction Units (camera control box, 8-port multiple television camera control delegation switch). He did not receive the required authorization from the Office of Foreign Asset Control, Department of the Treasury. Ardebili was sentenced on Dec. 14 for numerous export violations. The laptop revealed past communication between Ardebili and the company where Larrison worked.
"Enforcing our nations export laws to ensure that sensitive military technology does not end up in the wrong hands is a top priority at ICE," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of the ICE Office of Investigations in Philadelphia. "As this prosecution is a direct result of the recently announced Amir Ardebili investigation, ICE continues to show our commitment to pursuing technology and weapons smuggling crimes while leading the fight in counter proliferation investigations."
"The unlawful export of U.S. technology to Iran requires a willing trading partner in the United States," said U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss. "When these individuals are identified, they will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. I applaud ICE agents for their extraordinary work in this continuing investigation."
No sentencing date has been set at this time. Larrison faces a maximum statutory sentence of 10 years incarceration, followed by three years supervised release, a $1 million fine, and a mandatory special assessment of $100.
Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Hall, District of Delaware, is prosecuting this case.