I-Team: Engines to the Enemy
At a warehouse in this out of the way group of legitimate businesses located in the 4400 block of NW 74th Avenue off the Palmetto expressway northwest of Miami International Airport, a federal Immigration and Customs or ICE undercover agent viewed the disturbing merchandise… 22 jet fighter engines built here in the US… now headed for Iran.
We were shown pictures of General Electric made J-85 jet engines… similar to the ones the four men advertised for sale on the Internet.
Engines, according to a federal indictment handed up Wednesday, the men had agreed to sell for more than 300 thousand dollars…
The men agreed to accept $151, 000 as a 50% deposit for the purchase and shipment of the engines from Miami to Panama, with the eventual destination– Iran.
The indictment charges Felipe, Diego and Amparo Echeverri and Carlos Alfredo Pantoja-Coral, with five counts of various violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act forbidding the export of items such as these to countries such as Iran and North Korea that threaten the national security of the United States.
These jet engines will fit and can be used by fighter jets that Iran builds.
Clearly it is an issue of national security, the federal government doesn’t want American made military parts being used by a country listed as an enemy of the US such as Iran.
Federal officials say the four defendants are all related, and live in New York state and Bogota, Colombia.
They made their first appearance before a federal magistrate in Miami Wednesday.
They could not be reached for comment on the charges.