Arizona Aviation Company Indicted for Violating Arms Export Control Act

Nov 04, 2010   

On October 28, 2010, a federal grand jury indicted Floyd Stilwell, president and CEO of Marsh Aviation Co., an Arizona company for violating the Arms Export Control Act. The indictment charges that Stilwell and his company were part of a conspiracy to ship arms to Venezuela from November 2005 until February 2008.

The indictment alleges that Stilwell and his company shipped military engines to the Venezuelan air force and provided training on how to maintain them in violation of federal law. The engines sold are listed on the United States Munitions List. Under federal law, the export of arms on the US Munitions List is illegal without a federal export license or written authorization issued by the Department of State. Since 2006, the U.S. government has forbidden the export of military hardware to Venezuela because Venezuela does not cooperate with United States anti-terrorism efforts. Additionally, the Office of Foreign Assets Control also issues regulations regarding the import and export of goods to countries which do not comply with U.S. counter-terrorism efforts. These regulations can be found at the OFAC Website.

According to the indictment, Stilwell and Marsh Aviation agreed to upgrade turboprop engines for use on Venezuelan air force reconnaissance planes. The indictment further alleges that Stilwell agreed to disassemble the upgraded engines, disguise them as civilian models when exporting them, and that Marsh Aviation sent employees to Venezuela to reassemble the engines once they had arrived.

U.S. Authorities also allege that Stilwell received $1.8 million in his personal bank account for his role in the arms exporting scheme. If convicted, Stilwell faces up to 15 years in federal prison for the arms violations and conspiracy charges.

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