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UK citizen sentenced for attempting to smuggle industrial equipment to Iran

A gavel cracks down. (Airman 1st Class Aspen Reid/U.S. Air Force)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

A U.K. citizen has been sentenced in Florida to two years and six months in federal prison for attempting to smuggle industrial equipment to Iran.

Colin Fisher, 45, was arrested in August when he arrived in Florida from the United Arab Emirates to obtain power-generating equipment for a buyer in Iran, a statement from the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Florida said.

Fisher, who was also fined $5,000, pleaded guilty in September to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which bans the export of such equipment to Iran.

“Between 2017 and the time of his arrest in August, Fisher worked to violate the Iranian embargo by attempting to export a Solar Mars 90 S turbine core engine and parts from the United States for delivery to an end user in Iran,” the statement said.

The scheme included fraudulent invoicing and coded language with conspirators to communicate about the transactions, the statement said.

“The Iranian embargo is directly related to the national security of the United States, and by attempting to evade that embargo Fisher and his fellow conspirators placed this nation directly at risk,” U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe said.

Law enforcement authorities seized the turbine before it was sent to a conspirator linked to an Iranian energy company. The 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 turbine to Iran. He is serving a three-and-a-half-year sentence in federal prison.