US Defense Contractor Arrested After Caught Smuggling US Fighter Jet Plans to Iran
Smuggler: Mozaffar Khazaee is accused of trying to smuggle plans for a top-secret fighter jet to his home country, Iran. (Daily Mail)
US contractor Mozaffar Khazaee was arrested after he was caught smuggling thousands of secret documents – including blueprints for one of the U.S. Air Force’s most advanced fighter jets – to Iran.
The Daily Mail reported:
A Connecticut engineer with dual, U.S.-Iranian citizenship was arrested by federal authorities last week after it was learned that he was attempting to smuggle thousands of secret documents – including blueprints for one of the U.S. Air Force’s most advanced fighter jets – to Iran, prosecutors confirmed Monday.
According to authorities, Mozaffar Khazaee had labeled boxes containing the documents as ‘household goods’ when he shipped them from his home in Connecticut to California on their way to Hamadan, Iran.
Khazaee was arrested last week at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey as he was attempting to travel to Germany and then on to Iran, where he planned to meet a contact and turn over the boxes containing ‘sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets, and other proprietary material’ related to the F-35 and its engines to agents presumably with the Iranian government, according to an affidavit filed by a Special Agent of Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Authorities say the documents labled as ‘household goods’ initially was discovered in November, when Customs agents inspected the truck Khazaee had used to ship the boxes of documents across the country en-route to Iran.
The shipping company Khazaee used described the boxes as containing ‘books and college-related items, two suitcases, a vacuum cleaner and some other items,’
According to authorities, however, the boxes contained ‘thousands of pages contained in dozens of manuals/binders relating to the JSF [F-35 Joint Strike Fighter] program.’
Khazaee has worked as an engineer for several defense contractors across the U.S. None of the defense companies are specifically named in court documents, but his latest employer – identified in court records as ‘company A’ – has been identified by the Blaze.com as Connecticut-based Pratt and Whitney.
‘Pratt & Whitney has been cooperating fully with the government on this matter and will continue to do so,’ Matthew Bates, Communications Manager at Pratt & Whitney Military Engines tells the website.