UK man guilty of trying to smuggle generator from US to Iran

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A U.K. citizen has pleaded guilty in Florida to federal charges related to violating an embargo and attempting to smuggle industrial equipment to Iran.

Colin Fisher, 45, pleaded guilty on Monday in Pensacola federal court to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and to attempted smuggling in relation to exporting power generating equipment to Iran, according to court records. He faces up to 30 years in prison at a scheduled Nov. 10 sentencing.

“Exporting technology to Iran is prohibited for a very good reason, yet this defendant chose to put his own self-interest above global and national security,” U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Florida Lawrence Keefe said in a statement.

Fisher was arrested by federal agents in August when he arrived in Pensacola from the United Arab Emirates to finish the deal, prosecutors said. Fisher has worked for nearly three years to violate the Iranian embargo by attempting to export a Solar Mars 90 S turbine core engine and parts from the U.S. to Iran, they added.

Law enforcement authorities were able to seize the turbine before it was sent to a conspirator linked to an Iranian energy company. The intercepted turbine, which was valued at $500,000, could be used to provide energy to the oil fields of Iran.

James Meharg, CEO and president of Pensacola-based Turbine Resources International, was previously convicted of conspiring with Fisher to export a large turbine and parts from the U.S. to Iran. He was sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison.