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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Florida Man Guilty of Violating International Economic Powers Act

Defendant Attempted to Smuggle Controlled Technology Secrets to China, Russia

SHERMAN, Texas– A Ponte Vedra, Florida, man has pleaded guilty to international smuggling violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.

Eddy Johan Coopmans, 61, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to smuggle goods out of the United States and to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine Nowak on Oct. 4, 2022.

According to information presented in court, Coopmans and another individual who is a foreign national agreed to illegally export controlled technology, specifically Space Grade Field Programmable Gate Array Circuits, to Russia and China.  As part of their scheme, Coopmans and his co-conspirator communicated with individuals whom they believed would help them smuggle the circuits, paid them approximately $1,217,100 USD, and made false statements to government regulators.

Coopmans was indicted by a federal grand jury on August 13, 2019.  He faces up to 5 years in federal prison.  The maximum statutory sentence prescribed by Congress is provided here for information purposes, as the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.  A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

This case is being investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation with assistance from Department of Commerce - Bureau of Industry and Security; Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Services; Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; and United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the Eastern District of Texas and Attorneys with the National Security Division assisted with the prosecution. 

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Updated October 5, 2022