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[cdn-nucl-l] Probably not a good time to be caught...
Posted on November 19th by CNN and at:
Fugitive accused of exporting nuclear bomb triggers captured
November 19, 2001 Posted: 10:21 PM EST (0321 GMT)
LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- After 16 years on the lam, a California
electronics manufacturer returned to court Monday to face charges of illegally
exporting nuclear-weapons triggers to Israel.
The brief hearing was the first court appearance for Richard Kelly Smyth since
he and his wife fled before his August 1985 pretrial hearing.
Smyth, 72, had been charged in a 30-count indictment with illegally exporting
about $60,000 worth of krytrons -- two-inch triggering devices that can be used
in nuclear weapons -- to Israel.
During Monday's hearing, Smyth told U.S. District Judge Fernando M. Olguin he
understood the charges against him. Smyth's attorney, James Riddet, declined
Krytrons may not be exported without a license or written approval from the
U.S. State Department. Smyth was accused in the 1985 indictment of
circumventing those regulations by preparing false documentation for the export
of roughly 800 of the tubelike devices, sent abroad in 15 shipments between
January 1980 and December 1982.
If found guilty, Smyth faces 105 years in prison, Assistant U.S. Attorney David
Smyth, who had been president of Milco International Inc., pleaded innocent to
the charges in 1985 before fleeing the country while free on $100,000 bail.
"We weren't going to have him go to jail for 105 years," said his wife, Emilie.
Smyth was arrested in July in Malaga, Spain, where the couple had lived since
the mid 1980s. He was returned Friday to the United States.