A former Manchester resident was arrested in New Jersey as he was trying to board a flight to Germany after he was accused of trying to send sensitive documents regarding the U.S. Air Force's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and military jet engines to Iran.
Mozaffar Khazaee, also known as Arash Khazaie, 59, formally of Manchester, was arrested Monday at Newark Liberty International Airport before he was able to board his flight to Frankfurt, Germany with a final destination to Tehran, Iran.
According to a criminal complaint, federal law enforcement agents began to investigate Khazarr in November when officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Service as well as other federal agencies inspected a shipment that he sent by truck from Connecticut to Long Beach, CA.
The shipment, the complaint said, was intended to be shipped to Iran.
According to federal officials, the documentation for the shipment indicated that it contained household goods, but when it was inspected it contained numerous boxes of documents consisting of sensitive technical manuals, specification sheets and other documents related to the U.S. Air force's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program and jet engines.
Officials said that upon further investigation, law enforcement discovered that he currently holds both Iranian and United States citizenship and, as of August he worked as an engineer for defense contractors that included contractors who are the actual owners of the documents.
Khazaee was charged with transporting, transmitting and transferring in interstate or foreign commerce goods obtained by theft, conversion, or fraud, and that charge carries a 10-year prison term and a fine of up to $250,000.
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