CHICAGO (CN) – A naturalized citizen born in Iran pleaded guilty Thursday to trying to ship illegal missile components to his homeland via the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Andro Telemi, 42, of Sun Valley, Calif., was indicted with co-defendant Davou Baniameri, 39, of Woodland Hills, Calif., in December 2009.
A superseding indictment in July 2010 added Syed Majid Mousavi, an Iranian citizen living in Iran.
Telemi, who pleaded guilty plea without a plea agreement, faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine at his Oct. 30 sentencing. He pleaded guilty to violating the Arms Export Control Act.
The U.S. attorney said in a statement that sometime before Aug. 17, 2009, “Baniameri contacted Telemi and requested his assistance in purchasing and exporting to Iran via Dubai 10 connector adapters for the TOW and TOW2 anti-armor missile systems. Telemi agreed and over the next month, they negotiated the purchase of 10 connector adaptors for $9,450 from a company in Illinois, which unbeknownst to them, was controlled by law enforcement.”
TOW missiles – Tube-launched, Optically tracked, Wire command data link – is an anti-tank guided missile system. Components cannot be exported without a license from the State Department.
Baniameri pleaded guilty last year and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison.
Mousavi is believed to be on the loose in Iran.