Texas Businessman Admits to Smuggling Space Parts to China and Russia

A Texas businessman awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to conspiring to smuggle radiation-hardened integrated circuits to China and Russia for use in their space programs.

Peter Zuccarreli, 62 of Plano pleaded guilty recently to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers act. It was in 2015 and last year when he and his co-conspirators agreed to the plot to illegally export the parts to the two countries.

The RHICs as they are known have military and space applications and their export is strictly controlled. What Zuccarelli did was to receive the orders along with a payment of nearly $1.5 million to buy the parts of the Chinese and Russian customers. He placed orders with U.S. suppliers and signed certificates that his American Coating Technologies company was the end user.

When Zuccarelli received the parts, he removed them from their original packaging, repackaged them then labeled them as “touch screen parts” and shipped them out of the U.S. without the required licenses.

Zuccarelli’s facing up to 5 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.