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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

Florida arms seller sentenced for illegal export of night vision equipment

BALTIMORE — A Florida man was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for unlawfully exporting night vision equipment. The sentencing follows an investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

"One of HSI's top enforcement priorities is preventing U.S. military products and sensitive technology from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm America or its interests," said William Winter, special agent in charge for HSI Baltimore. "This investigation is an example of HSI's partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office in Maryland to combat this threat."

Anthony J. Torresi, 34, of Coral Gables, Fla., listed night vision goggles and night vision monoculars for sale on eBay. The items were designed to enable military ground troop personnel to conduct night operations. A license from the U.S. Department of State is required to export the items and selling such items overseas without a license is a violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

On Jan. 21, 2011, Torresi sold two of the night vision goggles for $7,039.99 to an undercover agent he believed to be located in New Zealand, but who was in fact located in Baltimore. Torresi exported the goggles Feb. 11, 2011, from Miami to New Zealand. The shipping label signed by Torresi showed the contents as a "gift" described as a "Rangefinder" valued at $70. Torresi never applied for a license to export these items.

A few months later, on March 29, 2011, he sold a 6015-4 night vision monocular to the undercover agent he believed to be located in New Zealand for $6,099.89. The next month, on April 29, 2011, he exported from Miami to New Zealand what he represented to be the 6015-4 night vision monocular that he sold for $6,099.98. In fact, Torresi shipped a different night vision monocular that he had purchased for $266 and which did not require a license to export.

The Counter Proliferation Investigations Task Force, a multi-agency task force headquartered at HSI Baltimore offices, assisted in the investigation.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Welsh.