A Canadian man has been sentenced 3 ½ years in jail for his role in a restricted goods export ring operating out of the U.S.
Ghobad Ghasempour was handed the sentence earlier this week for conspiracy to unlawfully export items with military and other uses to Iran, over a period of six years.
During the sentencing hearing, the judge said Ghasempour had been motivated by money and greed. He said the exports were to the Iranian defence ministry, "the very group that would be the most harmful to the United States."
The 38-year-old Surrey, B.C. resident was arrested when he crossed the border in March of last year and pleaded guilty in April.
In a statement released Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice said Ghasempour was the subject of an investigation by Homeland Security which involved front companies in China. The operation, officials said, also involved co-conspirators in Iran, Turkey and Portugal who aided in the successful and attempted exports.
Court records said Ghasempour and others shipped U.S. technology including a microscopic tape measure for liquid coatings and parts used in cellphones and missiles. He attempted to export a guidance system test table that can be used to determine the accuracy of guidance systems on airplanes.
Those who worked with Ghasempour exported two types of thermal imaging cameras that can be used in security systems and military drones.
The Department of Justice said some of the items were intercepted by authorities, and that conspirators other than Ghasempour made fake shipping documents and lied to manufacturers. It is alleged that they claimed the restricted items were being shipped to Turkey and Portugal, but in fact they were heading to Iran.
Iranian customers paid the Chinese front companies owned by Ghasempour and another person, the statement said.