2 Arrested, Warrants Issued for 2 More in Alleged Arms-Export Conspiracy
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A 38-year-old Philadelphia man was arrested in Washington Tuesday for his role in an alleged conspiracy to illegally export arms, munitions and high- tech navigational systems to Syria, Libya, Iran and other prohibited countries, authorities said.
Kevin Gilday, of Kevin Gilday & Associates, was ordered held without bond by U.S. Magistrate Jean Dwyer. A preliminary hearing on the charges is set for Wednesday. Authorities did not identify what type of business Kevin Gilday & Associates is.
In addition, Gilday’s associate, Rosemary Loughery of Mt. Holly, N.J., was arrested in Trenton, N.J., and will go before a magistrate there on Wednesday, according to government prosecutors.
Gilday and Loughery face a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison and a fine of $1,010,000, if convicted.
Prosecutors also said an arrest warrant was issued for Thomas Henry O’Brien, 45, of Bangor, Ireland, and Eric Magee of England. Magee is a friend of O’Brien’s and president and director of Cordglen, S.A., of Wormley Herts, England, a logistics supply company with offices in England and Brazil, prosecutors said.
In the criminal complaint, the government charges that Gilday, Loughery, O’Brien and Magee, ″and others known and unknown, did unlawfully, knowingly, and willfully combine, conspire, confederate and agree to gather″ to violate the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.
Beginning March 5 until the present, the four met repeatedly with U.S. Customs Special Agents Robert Fischer and Donald Bludworth, working undercover and posing as high tech and arms brokers in the international trade business, the government said in an affidavit by the agents.
The agents met with Gilday on several occasions, including March 5, to discuss business opportunities in the Middle East, the Eastern bloc, Syria, Libya and other areas of the world.
Their discussions involved potential arms and high technology transactions with Iran and East Germany using false certificates to show where the shipments would eventually end.
At an April meeting, Gilday showed the agents a letter from Tehran, dated March 29, that contained a list of arms and munitions needed by Iran. The list included spare parts for tanks, helicopters, F-4, F-5 and F-14 aircraft, as well as radar equipment and TOW, Dragon and Stinger missiles, the affadavit said.
During April, May and June, the special agents talked biweekly on the telphone with either Gilday or Loughery concerning the high-tech business and sales of munitions to Iran and Ireland.
On June 13, Gilday telephoned Bludworth from London to say he had met O’Brien’s friend, Magee, who was interested in doing business for U.S. strategic equipment and could arrange for false end-user certificates for material shipped through Saudi Arabia or Brazil to prohibited countries, the agents said.
On July 1, Bludworth and Gilday discussed the availability of navigational gyroscopes for jet aircraft, TOW missiles and C130 aircraft. Gilday said he was traveling to Syria within the next few days and wanted to take with the fullest commitment possible. He also discussed methods of routing the equipment through Ireland or England, the affidavit said.
On July 15, Gilday told Bludworth that Syria was interested in a radio navigation beacon manufactured by Gould Electronics in California.
The agents said an investigation shows that the equipment, if obtained, could be used by Libya or Syria to identify and track U.S. military aircraft in the Gulf of Sidra as well as the military forces of other allied countries within the Middle East.
The Gould beacon is classified as a ″defense article,″ and its exportation is controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, the affidavit said.
On Aug. 12, Bludworth telephoned Gilday in London and learned that he had been in touch with Magee who said he would arrange the letter of credit, purchase order and the contract for the Gould deal in six to eight weeks.
Gilday also inquired about the availability of C-130H aircraft that he was attempting to sell to Magree’s Middle East customers, the agents said.
The next day, O’Brien told Bludworth the deal was completed but that the ″source country″ needed its budget approved.
Gilday, meeting with the undercover agents on Nov. 11, said the Syrian government wanted the Gould equipment. He said the Irish Republican Army was assisting them in Northern Ireland on an IBM computer deal to East Germany and that the C-130 aircraft was destined for Libya.
The government said, based on the facts set forth in the affidavits, ″there is probable cause to believe″ that Gilday, Loughery, O’Brien and Magee and others whose actual identity is presently unknown ″are involved in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and export navigational systems to Syria, Libya, and other prohibited countries, without legally or properly obtaining the export license required″ under the law.