Engineer charged with trying to send Iran U.S. fighter jet secrets

Tue Jan 21, 2014 7:48pm EST

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter jet drops a laser-guided bomb during its first guided weapons release test at Edwards Air Force Base, California October 29, 2013. REUTERS/US Navy/Handout via Reuters

A U.S. Marine Corps F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) fighter jet drops a laser-guided bomb during its first guided weapons release test at Edwards Air Force Base, California October 29, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/US Navy/Handout via Reuters

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(Reuters) - A former engineer for defense contractors has been indicted on charges that he tried to send Iran secret details on the U.S. Air Force's F-35 joint strike fighter program, the office of the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut said on Tuesday.

The accused man, Mozaffar Khazaee, a dual U.S. and Iranian citizen, was arrested on January 9 at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, after he flew from Indianapolis to Newark, with Tehran as his final destination, prosecutors said.

Khazaee, who moved recently from Connecticut to Indianapolis, was charged with two counts of transporting, transmitting and transferring in interstate commerce goods obtained by theft, conversion or fraud, according to the indictment. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Federal agents began investigating Khazaee, 59, in November when officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection inspected a shipment of boxes he sent by truck from Connecticut to a freight forwarding company in Long Beach, California, prosecutors said.

The shipment, listed as containing household goods, actually held boxes of documents with sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets and other material relating to the F-35 program, and it was intended for shipment to Iran, prosecutors said.

Khazaee has been detained in New Jersey pending his transportation to Connecticut to face charges. He has not yet been arraigned in the case.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and David Gregorio)

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Comments (7)
Saluki21 wrote:
Treason – this man should be jailed for life. In Iran he would not get that, he would be put to death with no appeal.

Jan 21, 2014 8:58pm EST  --  Report as abuse
ChangB wrote:
I’m not prejudice, but surely a person with dual nationality would not be allowed to work as an engineer on projects involving national security, isn’t that just common sense?

Jan 21, 2014 9:06pm EST  --  Report as abuse
hawkeye19 wrote:
Keep hiring those Muslims. The USA is committing suicide by stupidity. Duh.

Jan 21, 2014 9:44pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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