Man accused of selling military parts to Iran

June 23, 2008 7:20:46 PM PDT
A Novato businessman is under arrest, accused of selling military parts to Iran. Hassan Saied Keshari was arrested at the Miami airport. A second man, from Florida, was also arrested.

The Justice Department is calling Keshari a munitions dealer. His neighbors at a business park knew him as a dealer in helicopter parts. Keshari owns Kesh Air International Corporation. In the criminal complaint, the Justice Department details how it believes Keshari used a business in southern Novato as a front for dealing military aircraft parts to Iran.

Federal investigators say they followed an e-mail trail of purchase orders for military aircraft parts ? high-powered military aircraft including the Navy's F14 Tomcat fighter jets, CH-53 helicopters and the AH1 helicopter commonly referred to as the Cobra.

The government says Keshari bought parts and then had them delivered to Kesh Air in Novato. From there they would be shipped to Florida. Federal investigators searched an address in Plantation, Florida and arrested a second suspect believed to be Keshari's partner in supplying parts to Iran. From Florida, the government claims the parts were shipped to Dubai, and from Dubai then onto Iran.

The Justice Department's complaint says government investigators were able to get access to hundreds of e-mails through what they are saying were lawful search warrants. They say they know military parts were delivered to Iran because e-mails confirmed the transactions, including complaints from an Iranian company that some of the aircraft parts were used.

Keshari's home overlooks the Marin Country Club. He was arrested Friday night at Miami International as he got off a plane from Atlanta.

Neighbors describe him as friendly family man.

"I believe he has a wife and a couple kids," says neighbor James Flanagan.

Kesh Air was started in 1993, incorporated in California and described as a wholesale engine parts dealer with estimated annual sales of $400,000.

Word of Keshari's arrest was announced Monday afternoon. A neighbor in the business park says he last saw Keshari there on Friday.


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