Former US Defense Contractor CEO Arrested for Allegedly Exporting Military Technology to China

The owner of a California-based military contractor has been arrested for allegedly breaking federal export laws by transferring sensitive U.S. technology to countries such as China. The 77-year-old Joe Sery, who used to run Tungsten Heavy Powder & Parts (Tungsten Parts), has been indicted on charges of “knowingly and willfully” exporting military intelligence, including data and drawings, to China and India without U.S. approval, the Justice Department announced on March 5. The company supplies fragments of tungsten, a rare metal, and weapon components on a contractual basis to the U.S. military. Prosecutors have identified 70-year-old brother Dror Sery, a dual citizen of Israel and South Africa, as a co-conspirator in the scheme. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man, who remains a fugitive and is believed to be living in Israel. The brothers allegedly created a non-company email to secretly access the sensitive documents from Tungsten Parts’ system, which Dror Sery was then given full access to. The two then exported the sensitive technical drawings through email when Dror was in India and China, according to the U.S. attorney’s office. The International Traffic in Arms Regulations deems it unlawful to transfer data, goods, and services that are designated as defense items out of the United States without a license, or to release such technical data to a foreign individual in the United States. Violators could face a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Tungsten Parts entered into contracts with multiple aerospace and defense companies between 2016 and 2019 to work on projects involving the construction of an advanced rapid response weapon, a 155-millimeter by-modal warhead, a R9E warhead, and an 81-millimeter cowling cone, the prosecutors said. The company’s official website boasted having some of America’s largest defense contractors—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics—as among its customers. It also noted its involvement in the Pentagon project to build the rocket-boosted air-launched rapid response weapon missile, a hypersonic weapon that would help the United States to hold an edge over China and Russia. Tungsten Parts is facing a lawsuit from a former employee from its San Diego facilities, who alleges that Dror Sery once sent an email requesting a customer’s intellectual property to be sent to a company China that makes balancing machines, court filings show. The employee accused Tungsten Parts of sending technical drawings to China-based suppliers after removing or blocking out markings identifying them as export-controlled. Tungsten Parts did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment about the allegations. According to the indictment, “these brothers disregarded important regulations designed to keep sensitive information from falling into the hands of those who would harm America,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said. Chad Plantz, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations San Diego, said that the investigative agencies are committed to ensuring “protected military technology and weaponry are not used by foreign actors against our warfighters and allies on the battlefield.” “This arrest sends a clear message that those entrusted with our country’s military technology and weaponry will be held responsible for its safeguarding,” he said. Last year, under the name Tungsten Heavy Powder, Inc., the company agreed to pay $5.6 million to settle allegations that it had falsely certified product materials as from the United States when they actually came from China. Tungsten Parts has agreed to assist with the investigation, the prosecutors said. Joe Sery is due to appear in court on Monday. China Reporter Follow Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S.-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at [email protected]

Former US Defense Contractor CEO Arrested for Allegedly Exporting Military Technology to China

The owner of a California-based military contractor has been arrested for allegedly breaking federal export laws by transferring sensitive U.S. technology to countries such as China.

The 77-year-old Joe Sery, who used to run Tungsten Heavy Powder & Parts (Tungsten Parts), has been indicted on charges of “knowingly and willfully” exporting military intelligence, including data and drawings, to China and India without U.S. approval, the Justice Department announced on March 5.

The company supplies fragments of tungsten, a rare metal, and weapon components on a contractual basis to the U.S. military.

Prosecutors have identified 70-year-old brother Dror Sery, a dual citizen of Israel and South Africa, as a co-conspirator in the scheme. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man, who remains a fugitive and is believed to be living in Israel.

The brothers allegedly created a non-company email to secretly access the sensitive documents from Tungsten Parts’ system, which Dror Sery was then given full access to. The two then exported the sensitive technical drawings through email when Dror was in India and China, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

The International Traffic in Arms Regulations deems it unlawful to transfer data, goods, and services that are designated as defense items out of the United States without a license, or to release such technical data to a foreign individual in the United States. Violators could face a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

Tungsten Parts entered into contracts with multiple aerospace and defense companies between 2016 and 2019 to work on projects involving the construction of an advanced rapid response weapon, a 155-millimeter by-modal warhead, a R9E warhead, and an 81-millimeter cowling cone, the prosecutors said.

The company’s official website boasted having some of America’s largest defense contractors—Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and General Dynamics—as among its customers. It also noted its involvement in the Pentagon project to build the rocket-boosted air-launched rapid response weapon missile, a hypersonic weapon that would help the United States to hold an edge over China and Russia.

Tungsten Parts is facing a lawsuit from a former employee from its San Diego facilities, who alleges that Dror Sery once sent an email requesting a customer’s intellectual property to be sent to a company China that makes balancing machines, court filings show.

The employee accused Tungsten Parts of sending technical drawings to China-based suppliers after removing or blocking out markings identifying them as export-controlled.

Tungsten Parts did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment about the allegations.

According to the indictment, “these brothers disregarded important regulations designed to keep sensitive information from falling into the hands of those who would harm America,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said.

Chad Plantz, special agent in charge for Homeland Security Investigations San Diego, said that the investigative agencies are committed to ensuring “protected military technology and weaponry are not used by foreign actors against our warfighters and allies on the battlefield.”

“This arrest sends a clear message that those entrusted with our country’s military technology and weaponry will be held responsible for its safeguarding,” he said.

Last year, under the name Tungsten Heavy Powder, Inc., the company agreed to pay $5.6 million to settle allegations that it had falsely certified product materials as from the United States when they actually came from China.

Tungsten Parts has agreed to assist with the investigation, the prosecutors said.

Joe Sery is due to appear in court on Monday.


China Reporter

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Eva Fu is a New York-based writer for The Epoch Times focusing on U.S.-China relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at [email protected]