Man accused of smuggling American aircraft equipment to Iran arrested in Denver

Suspect traveled to Denver for family celebration
Posted at 6:23 PM, Jun 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-14 01:00:04-04

Federal authorities arrested a man in Colorado on Saturday on charges he smuggled goods to Iran.

In a 39-count federal indictment unsealed Monday, prosecutors allege Mansour Moghtaderi Zadeh smuggled aircraft parts and other supplies for use in the aviation industry from the United States to Iran from 2005 through 2007, defying the U.S. sanctions in place on Iran at that time.

U.S. prosecutors filed the indictment in 2010. Zadeh, an Iranian citizen, recently applied for a visa to travel to the United States in order to attend a family member’s graduation in Denver. Sources tell Denver7 Investigates high-level U.S. government officials debated whether Zadeh would be granted the visa and whether he would be arrested upon his return.

Denver7 Investigates captured exclusive video of Zadeh arriving to Denver International Airport on Thursday afternoon, reuniting with several people who awaited his arrival.

According to court documents, federal authorities arrested Zadeh on Saturday in Colorado. 

The indictment says Zadeh procured goods from the United States on behalf of customers "including military end-users in Iran." The indictment accuses Zadeh of smuggling aviation course indicators, aerospace metal sheets and rods, camouflage paint, sealant, resin and chemicals, and other items made in the U.S. for use in Iran. The indictment said the suspect and his companies created fictitious shipping documents for some of the items. 

Zadeh is set to make his next appearance in federal court in Denver June 16. His Denver-based attorney, Harvey Steinberg, declined to comment to Denver7 Investigates on the charges at Zadeh's initial court appearance Monday afternoon.