David C. Weiss, United States
Attorney for the District of Delaware, together with John Morton, Department of
Homeland Security Assistant Secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,
and James B. Burch, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, Department of
Defense Office of Inspector General today announced the unsealing of indictments
returned in Delaware and Massachusetts, and other documentation related to the
prosecution of Iranian arms procurement agent Amir Hossein Ardebili. U.S. Attorney
Weiss announced that Ardebili pled guilty to these indictments on May 19, 2008, and
is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 14, 2009 at 9:30 a.m. before the Honorable
Gregory M. Sleet.
In the indictments, Ardebili was charged with multiple violations of the Arms Export
Control Act, International Emergency Economic Powers Act, smuggling, conspiracy and
money laundering. The charges result from a three year international undercover
investigation which exposed Ardebili's role as a prolific arms acquisitions agent
for the government of Iran. During the investigation, Ardebili negotiated the
purchase and illegal export of a number of military components, including:
QRS-11 Gyro Chip Sensors. The QRS-11s are solid-state gyro chips that can be used in
thousands of applications to include numerous advanced aircraft, missile, space and
commercial applications. The BEI GyroChip Model QRS11 Quartz Rate Sensor, Model No.
QRS-11-00300-100, is listed on the United States Munitions List in Category XII(d),
and therefore requires a license from the Department of State for export.
MAPCGM0003 Phase Shifters. Phase shifters perform a key function in the active
radiating elements of electronically steered antennae. They enable an antenna to
point a radiated beam in specific directions. The six bit phase shifter sought by
Ardebili is state of the art. Phase shifters have many applications including phased
array radar, which is used in military target acquisition and missile guidance.
Digital Air Data Computer (DADC-107). The DADC-107 is a fully computerized
Form/Fit/Function (FFF) replacement for the Central Air Data Computer installed on
F-4 fighter aircraft. It calculates flight parameters including altitude, air speed,
static pressure, mach number, and true angle of attack. Its high accuracy enhances
weapons delivery system performance. The DADC-107 is a United States Munitions List
Article under category VIII(h) and therefore requires a United States State
Department license for export.
Ardebili's negotiations with undercover agents culminated in a face-to-face meeting
in a Central Asian nation in October of 2007, after which Ardebili was arrested.
Ardebili's laptop computer was seized at the time of his arrest and later searched
pursuant to a federal search warrant. He was extradited to the United States in
"I applaud our law enforcement partners for their exceptional dedication in pursuing
this major investigation," said U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss. "For years, the
defendant was in the business of acquiring components, many with military
applications, for the government of Iran. The government's investigation and
prosecution has put the defendant out of business and removed this threat to our
"America's most sensitive technology should never be allowed to pass into unintended
hands. We work everyday to disrupt the illegal trade of sensitive technology and ICE
continues to take aggressive action against those who violate our proliferation
laws," said Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement (ICE) John Morton.
"The illegal export of U.S. military technology, particularly when placed in the
hands of people suspected of providing support to our adversaries, is one of the
most significant threats to our national security," said James B. Burch, Deputy
Inspector General for Investigations, Department of Defense Office of Inspector
General. "The charges unsealed today highlight the desire of elements not friendly
to the United States to steal our most sensitive technology in an attempt to exploit
the tactical and strategic advantages that our soldiers now hold. DCIS is committed
to combating these threats in conjunction with our law enforcement partners and
ensuring that DoD weapon systems and technologies are secure."
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Hall.
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