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Monday, August 07, 2006

Man Sentenced for Trying to Ship Sensors to Iran

A computer technician was sentenced to a year in prison for trying to ship to Iran more than 100 pressure sensors that could be used as components in explosive devices.

Mohammad Fazeli, 27, pleaded guilty in May to one count of violating a US embargo prohibiting trade with Iran. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors agreed to drop one count each of conspiracy and making false statements.

US District Judge George H. King sentenced Fazeli in federal court on Monday.
In an indictment unsealed in March, prosecutors alleged that Fazeli, a US citizen of Iranian descent, ordered 103 Honeywell sensors from an electronics company in St. Paul, Minnesota, in September 2004. Working with an associate based in Iran, Fazeli tried to ship the sensors to an address in the United Arab Emirates, authorities said.

Prosecutors believe the ultimate destination was Iran. However, the devices never left the United States.

The sensors were built to detect the pressure of liquid or gas, but authorities were concerned they could be used to detonate explosive devices.

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