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Three Men Charged|With Aiding Syria

SCRANTON, Pa. (CN) - A 72-year-old Pennsylvania man is among three people charged with conspiring to export lab equipment to Syria in violation of federal law.

Harold Rinko, of Hallstead, Pa., was indicted with Moawea Deri, 36, of Syria, and Ahmad Feras Diri, 39, of London, the Justice Department said in a statement.

They are charged with criminal conspiracy, wire fraud, illegal export of goods, money laundering and false statements.

The United States, through federal legislation, is trying "to shut down the supply chain used by the Syrian state to support terrorism and to develop and proliferate weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons," the Justice Department said in the statement.

The defendants are accused of conspiring to export laboratory equipment illegally, without a permit, including equipment used to detect chemical warfare agents.

A federal grand jury returned the sealed indictment on Nov. 20, 2012; it was unsealed Wednesday.

Diri was arrested in London a year ago and is facing extradition to the United States.

Rinko has waived arraignment. Deri is a fugitive.

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