US deports Iranian arms broker arrested in 2007 sting

By REUTERS
March 14, 2012 05:57

 
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WASHINGTON - An Iranian arms broker arrested during a US Homeland Security sting in 2007 was deported back to Iran on Tuesday after serving four and a half years in custody, two American law enforcement officials said.

Amir Hossein Ardebili, a weapons procurement agent from the Iranian city of Shiraz, was arrested during a US undercover operation in the Republic of Georgia in October 2007.

Ardebili, 38, pleaded guilty in 2008 in a US court in Delaware to attempting to buy restricted military-grade radar, gyroscopes and cockpit computers deployed in the F-4 fighter jet.

US officials kept the case secret for years after the 2007 arrest, seeking to exploit the sales data found on the laptop computer Ardebili had brought with him from Iran. He was covertly extradited to the United States in early 2008, and US prosecutors did not make the case public until late 2009.

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