A Palm Beach County, Florida, man and company were sentenced for violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA), as well as the terms of a denial order issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Wifredo A. Ferrer of the Southern District of Florida, Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin, Special Agent in Charge John F. Khin Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Special Agent in Charge Alysa Erichs of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI) and Acting Special Agent in Charge Gordon Pomeroy of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement.
Russell Henderson Marshall, 53, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra of the Southern District of Florida to serve 41 months in prison and will be removed from the United States upon the completion of his sentence. In imposing the sentence, Judge Marra found that the order denying export privileges issued by the Department of Commerce constituted a national security control, which subjected Marshall to an enhanced sentence. Universal Industries Limited Inc. was sentenced to a term of one year probation and a special assessment of $400 upon a finding that the corporation is currently listed as inactive by the Florida Division of Corporations as a result of Marshall’s arrest.
Marshall and his company Universal Industries Limited Inc. were previously convicted in a 2011 case in the Southern District of Florida for violating the Arms Export Control Act, after which the Department of Commerce issued a denial order prohibiting Universal Industries Limited Inc. and its owners, agents and employees from participating in any transaction involving the export of any item subject to the Department of Commerce‘s Export Administration Regulations (EAR). Marshall and Universal Industries Limited Inc. violated IEEPA and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s denial order by attempting to send three temperature transmitters used on F-16 fighter jets and a saddle part for the J-69 engine used on 737 military trainer aircraft to Thailand and Pakistan, respectively.
“National security controls exist to ensure that sensitive U.S. technologies are protected,” said U.S. Attorney Ferrer. “Zero tolerance will be afforded individuals who knowingly continue to violate our export control laws and jeopardize the nation’s security.”
“By repeatedly taking actions that violated export control laws and an order issued by the Department of Commerce, Marshall and Universal Industries Limited Inc. actively engaged in efforts that threatened our national security,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “This sentencing serves as another reminder that we will not tolerate this activity. Protecting our national assets, including highly sensitive technologies, from falling into the hands of those who may wish to do us harm is one of our top national security priorities. The National Security Division commends the law enforcement agents, analysts, and prosecutors who took part ensuring justice was served.”
“Today's sentencing demonstrates the continued commitment of the Defense Criminal Investigative Service and partner agencies to protect sensitive U.S. defense technology from being illegally exported,” said Special Agent in Charge Khin. “American military prowess depends on lawful, controlled exports of sensitive technology by U.S. industries, which is why DCIS will continue its present campaign to aggressively investigate and prosecute criminal violations regarding the illegal procurement or export of sensitive technology.”
“One of Homeland Security Investigation's top enforcement priorities is preventing the exportation of U.S. military products and sensitive technology, and preventing those technologies and weaponry from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm America or its interests,” said Special Agent in Charge Erichs. “Technology used by the United States and its allies give us a strategic military advantage, which is why HSI will continue to work with its law enforcement partners to ensure such technology doesn't fall into the hands of those opposed to U.S. national security interests.”
“The Office of Export Enforcement is committed to working with our law enforcement partners to pursue individuals who violate our nation's export control laws,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Pomeroy. “As the sentence in this case demonstrates, we will not allow our national security to be compromised by individuals who intentionally violate these laws.”
According to court documents and information presented during the sentencing hearing, the DoD Inspector General received a hotline complaint concerning Marshall and Universal Industries Limited Inc. in November 2012. The subsequent investigation revealed that the defendants brokered the sale of military aircraft parts which were subject to license controls by the Department of Commerce, and which the defendants knew were intended to be illegally exported to Thailand and Pakistan.
On Feb. 6, 2015, Marshall and Universal Industries Limited Inc. entered guilty pleas to an information that charged them with knowingly and willfully engaging in negotiations concerning selling, delivering or otherwise servicing a transaction involving an item to be exported from the United States to Thailand and subject to the EAR.
U.S. Attorney Ferrer joins Assistant Attorney General Carlin in commending the investigative efforts of the DoD, DCIS, ICE-HSI and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Office of Export Enforcement for their outstanding efforts in investigating this matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Walleisa of the Southern District of Florida.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov