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Venezuelan Colonel Sentenced In Military Airplane Engine Case
A federal judge in Phoenix has sentenced a Venezuelan Air Force colonel to 19 months in prison for conspiring to export military aircraft engines to his home country. A local businessman was also involved in the scheme.
Under the Arms Export Control Act, licenses are required to export any defense or space related technology out of the country.
But a Homeland Security Investigation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement found that Guiseppe Luciano Menegazzo-Carrasquel, a Venezuelan Air Force colonel, conspired with the former CEO of Marsh Aviation in Mesa to refurbish military aircraft engines that were then exported to Venezuela.
Prosecutors say the parties pretended the engines were for civilian planes to avoid detection.
Menegazzo-Carrasquel pleadedguilty in June.
"One of our top enforcement priorities in Homeland Security Investigations is to prevent military equipment and sensitive technology from falling into to the hands of those who might seek to harm America or use those materials to harm its allies," said ICE spokeswoman Amber Cargile.
The former CEO of Marsh Aviation, Floyd Stilwell, was also charged and pleaded guilty. In May he was sentenced to five years of probation.