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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

Port St. Lucie man sentenced to 60 months on Arms Export Control Act conspiracy

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A 55-year-old Port St. Lucie man was sentenced Friday to sixty months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release following a joint U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Export Enforcement (OEE) investigation.

Joseph Piquet was convicted on March 5, 2009, on seven counts of conspiracy to evade the Arms Export Control Act by a federal jury in Fort Pierce. Court documents show he purchased high-tech, military use electronic components from Northrop Grumman Corporation, then shipped the items to Hong Kong and the People's Republic of China without first obtaining required export licenses under the Arms Export Control Act and the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

Among the items involved in the export conspiracy were high powered amplifiers designed for use by the U.S. military in early warning radar and missile target acquisition systems and low noise amplifiers that have both commercial and military use.

The testimony at trial showed that on five separate occasions between March 2004 through Feb. 2005, Piquet bought the restricted electronic components and submitted false End Use Certificates to the manufacturer to conceal the intended final destination of the parts, which he then forwarded through conspirators in Texas and Hong Kong.