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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

San Antonio man pleads guilty to attempting to export sensitive military equipment

SAN ANTONIO – A San Antonio man pleaded guilty on Thursday for illegally exporting military components, announced U.S. Attorney Robert Pitman, Western District of Texas. The case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Department of Defense's Criminal Investigation Service.

Andrew Silcox, 53, appeared before U.S. District Judge Fred Biery and pleaded guilty to one count of illegally exporting military equipment. By pleading guilty, Silcox, who is in the business of purchasing surplus Department of Defense equipment and then reselling it, admitted that beginning in May 2010, he sold one, and subsequently attempted to sell three more, Naval Radar Control Unit parts (AN/SPS-40B/C/D), also known as a "sensitivity time control generator assembly," for an agreed-upon price of about $6,500 each to an undercover ICE HSI agent. These particular units are covered by the U.S. Munitions List and require a State Department license to export.

According to court documents, the undercover agent told Silcox he was a broker for a buyer in the United Arab Emirates, and inquired as to how he would get the export license. Silcox admitted that he knew he needed the license. However, he never attempted to get a license, and he used false information on the shipping labels to disguise the actual contents. Silcox was arrested by ICE HSI agents on Oct. 21 when he attempted to sell the other three units.

Silcox could receive up to 20 years in federal prison at his sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for Feb. 24. He is currently on bond pending sentencing.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Roomberg, Western District of Texas, prosecuted this case.