Government Brings Charges on Alleged Arms Sales to Iran, Other Countries
WASHINGTON (AP) _ Two Philadelphia-area residents are under arrest and face conspiracy charges in an alleged scheme to ship arms and high technology equipment to countries that include Iran, Syria, Libya, Northern Ireland and East Germany.
Kevin Gilday, 38, of Philadelphia, was scheduled to go before a federal magistrate in Washington today to be formally charged with conspiracy and violation of the Arms Export Control Act, which restricts the countries to which certain classified equipment can be exported.
Gilday’s alleged partner, Rosemary Loughery of Mt. Holly, N.J., was arrested in New Jersey Tuesday and pleaded innocent to charges today before federal Magistrate John Devine in Trenton, N.J.
Devine set bail at $10,000 cash and also accepted two pieces of property owned by Susan Claypoole, identified as a friend of Ms. Loughery. Attorneys said Ms. Claypoole has $120,000 equity in the properties.
Nancy Graham, Ms. Loughery’s attorney, said after the arraignment that her client ″is completely innocent of any involvement with this illegal arms deal. She had no idea of any illegal activity going on whatsoever.″
Ms. Loughery was taken into custody by U.S. Customs agents after the arraignment.
Two others are involved in the scheme, according to government prosecutors. One is Thomas Henry O’Brien, 45, of Bangor, Northern Ireland, who operated Heart’s Services LTD., a business located near Belfast which deals in import- export of high-tech equipment and arms and munitions.
Prosecutors said that also involved is an Englishman, Eric Magee, whose logistics supply company has offices in England and Brazil. Prosecutors declined to discuss Magee’s status in the case.
Gilday, of Gilday & Associates in Philadelphia, will learn whether he will be freed on bond. After his arrest on Tuesday, he appeared briefly before a federal magistrate who ordered him to jail without bail until today’s hearing.
Each of the four faces a maximum 15 years in prison and fines of $1,010,000 if convicted.
In the criminal complaint, the government said Gilday, Loughery, O’Brien and others conspired to violate the law ″by attempting to export from the United States a defense article without a license or written approval from the U.S. Department of State.″
They also circumvented licensing processes established by the State Department’s Office of Munitions Control for the purchase and export of regulated defense articles by concealing the country of their ultimate destination, the complaint said.
In documents submitted to the court, prosecutors said that the group, from March 5 until the present, attempted to purchase and export to prohibited countries munitions and high tech equipment from Special Agents Donald Bludworth and Robert Fischer, working undercover as brokers in the international trade business.
Gilday told Bludworth on July 15 that Syria was interested in a radio navigation beacon, the papers said. The beacons could be used by Libya or Syria to track U.S. military aircraft in the Gulf of Sidra and elsewhere, the documents said.
The group also sought to export munitions and arms sought by Iran. The list included spare parts for tanks, helicopters, F-4, F-5 and F-14 and C130 aircraft, as well as radar equipment and TOW, Dragon and Stinger missiles, according to the government.
At at Nov. 11 meeting in Washington, Gilday told the undercover agents that the Syrian government was calling the shots on the purchase of the beacons. He also said the Irish Republican Army was assisting them in Northern Ireland on a multimillion dollar IBM computer deal to East Berlin and that the C-130 aircraft were destined for Libya.