A Perry aircraft maintenance worker was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison Wednesday for providing fighter jet and attack helicopter parts to Iran.
Michael Edward Todd, 31, pleaded guilty in May to conspiring to illegally export the parts.
Before receiving his sentence, Todd apologized for his actions. Handcuffed with the cuffs attached to a belly chain, Todd struggled to unfold a piece of paper in his hands during the hearing. His attorney helped.
“I am a flawed man who has made mistakes,” Todd said asking for forgiveness from not just the judge tasked with determining his sentence, but also from his fellow Americans.
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Christina Hunt, Todd’s attorney, said Todd became involved in the parts supply chain at a time when he was trying to start his business, The Parts Guys. It was during a hard economic time.
“This wasn’t a situation where he was trying to support terrorism,” she said. “He wasn’t trying to hurt the United States.”
While announcing Todd’s sentence, U.S. District Judge Marc Treadwell said the severity of Todd’s crime shouldn’t be limited or understated.
“Providing or being part of a conspiracy to provide these parts to Iran is a serious matter, and it poses a threat to this country,” he said.
Although he could have sentenced Todd to a longer prison sentence, Treadwell said he recognized that Todd’s cooperation with authorities led to the arrest of a second supplier, Hamid “Hank” Seifi, whom Todd helped authorities lure to the United States from Iran.
Todd’s mother, Linda Antonelli, said her son never actually delivered parts to Iran.
“When he found out what was happening, he put the parts in a hangar at the Macon airport, and they’re still there today,” she said. “He wasn’t out to hurt anybody.”
Todd, president of the now-dissolved The Parts Guys LLC, also pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge on behalf of his company.
After he’s released from prison, he must serve three years on probation and pay a $10,000 fine. Todd, his company, Seifi and his company were also ordered to forfeit a total of more than $160,000.
Seifi, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen, was sentenced in June to 56 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for his violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. He also was ordered to pay a $12,500 fine and forfeit $153,950.
Seifi and his Illinois-based company, Galaxy Aviation Services, ordered and purchased parts from Todd and The Parts Guys, which operated out of a warehouse at Middle Georgia Regional Airport.
The parts were ordered on behalf of Hassan and Reza Seifi and their company, Tehran, Iran-based Sabanican Co. The parts then were exported to Iran through a French company, authorities said.
Parts shipped between the companies ranged from bolts and screws to parts for aircraft weaponry.
The parts were for helicopters and fighter jets the U.S. gave to Iran before the country’s revolution in 1979. Iran needs the parts because the aircraft are old, authorities have said. The shipments were worth millions of dollars.
Todd was arrested in December 2010 in Atlanta and he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act in May.
Information from Telegraph archives was used in this report.