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Ex-Ford engineer sentenced to 10 years

DETROIT, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A former Ford Motor Co. engineer who tried to smuggle night-vision goggles and other military gear overseas has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Fawzi Assi, 49, attempted to send the equipment in 1998 to help drive Israelis out of southern Lebanon, the Detroit Free Press reported.

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He was sentenced in Detroit by U.S. District Judge Gerald Rosen as friends and family members looked on, the newspaper said.

Among other items Assi tried to smuggle were global positioning satellite modules and a thermal imaging camera.

He pleaded guilty in November to providing material support for a foreign terrorist organization. He fled the United States in 1998 to avoid prosecution, but returned in 2004 to face charges.

The judge gave him credit for the 4 1/2 years he has spent in custody.

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