Texas Resident Sentenced in South Florida to More Than 6 Years in Prison for Violations of the Cuban Embargo
On September 27, 2018, a Texas resident was sentenced in the Southern District of Florida to 6.5 years in prison for unlawfully exporting to Cuba electronic devices that require a license to export due to national security controls.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Robert J. Luzzi, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Export Enforcement (OEE), Miami Field Office, Mark Selby, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, and Diane J. Sabatino, Director, Field Operation, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Miami Field Office made the announcement.
Bryan Evan Singer, 46, of Bryan, Texas was convicted at trial for attempting to illegally smuggle electronics to Cuba in violation of the Cuban Embargo, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 554, and for making false statements to federal law enforcement, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001(a)(2). On September 27, 2018, U.S. District Court Chief Judge K. Michael Moore sentenced Singer to 78 months in prison, to be followed by supervised release.
On May 2, 2017, Singer intended to travel from Stock Island, Florida to Havana, Cuba aboard his vessel “La Mala.” Prior to Singer’s departure, law enforcement conducted an outbound inspection of the boat. During the inspection, Singer declared that he was only bringing to Cuba those items observable on the deck, and that the value of those items was less than $2,500. However, law enforcement conducting the search discovered a hidden compartment under a bolted down bed in the cabin of Singer’s boat. In the hidden compartment, law enforcement discovered hundreds of electronic devices, valued at over $30,000. Included in those devices were over 300 Ubiquiti Nanostation Network devices, which are designed to provide highly encrypted connections between computer networks over long distances. These devices require a license for export to Cuba, under United States law, because their capabilities threaten national security. Singer never sought or obtained a license to export to Cuba, prior to his offenses of conviction.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of OEE, ICE-HSI, and CBP in this matter. Mrs. Fajardo Orshan thanked the U.S. Coast Guard for the agency’s assistance. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Shack.