CHICAGO , July 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A former ground services coordinator at O'Hare International Airport has been sentenced to two years in prison for using his position at the airport to help smuggle
Riad Skaff , age 69, a naturalized U.S. citizen from Lebanon , was sentenced today in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by the Honorable Joan Gottschall. In addition to his prison sentence, Skaff was ordered to pay a
On Aug. 17, 2007 , Skaff voluntarily pleaded guilty to all nine counts of an indictment charging him with bulk cash smuggling; entering an aircraft and airport area in violation of applicable security requirements with the intent to commit a felony; exporting and attempted export of defense articles without first obtaining a required export license from the State Department; and attempted international export of merchandise, articles, and objects contrary to U.S. law.
"The illegal exportation of controlled U.S. technology is tantamount to breaching the border," said Gary Hartwig , ICE Special Agent in Charge for the Chicago Office of Investigation. "We will aggressively investigate those whose activities present a threat to our national security."
According to court documents, Skaff had been employed by Sunline Services, Inc., as a subcontractor assigned to Air France, since Feb. 3, 1999 at O'Hare International Airport. Skaff worked as a ground services coordinator and possessed an active airport security badge granting him full access to all secure areas of Terminal 5 of the airport, including the jet ways and tarmac, without being subject to security and screening.
In October 2005 , Skaff told an undercover agent from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that he would he would be able to get
According to court documents, Skaff later smuggled
Court documents indicate that in December 2005 , Skaff accepted
In January 2007 , Skaff accepted
This investigation was conducted by agents of the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, with assistance from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, the Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection; and the Chicago Police Department's Counter Terrorism Section. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Ex from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Illinois .