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Sierra Leonean Faces U.S. Charges in Iran Uranium Sting

A Sierra Leonean arrested at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in an undercover probe of illegal uranium sales will be taken to Florida to face charges, according to court documents.

Patrick Campbell, 33, who appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Vera M. Scanlon Aug. 22 in Brooklyn, New York, consented to the transfer, according to court records made public yesterday.

Campbell was arrested on Aug. 21 at the airport on his way to Miami to meet with an undercover agent posing as a dealer planning to send the uranium to Iran, the government said in a criminal complaint.

Agents stopped Campbell at JFK’s Terminal 4 after he arrived from overseas on an Air France flight, according to the complaint. He admitted he had a plan for selling uranium and showed the agents samples of raw uranium ore he had concealed in his luggage, the government alleged.

“Campbell stated, in sum and substance, that he had agreed to ship uranium to Iran,” investigators said in the complaint.

Campbell also had a thumb drive containing a contract for sale and delivery of uranium 308 and a PowerPoint presentation about the product he had discussed with the undercover agent, the government alleged. Uranium 308 is also known as “yellowcake” uranium and can be used in nuclear fuel or nuclear weapons when further processed, according to the complaint.

The suspect was in contact with an undercover agent about the purported sale and export to Iran since about May 2012, according to the complaint.

Campbell didn’t seek bail, according to court records.

Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, declined to comment on the case. A lawyer for Campbell, Chase Scolnick, also declined to comment.

The case is U.S. v. Campbell, 1:13-mj-733, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

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