Foreign National Arrested at Pensacola International Airport Sentenced to Federal Prison for National Security Offenses

December 17, 2020

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PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – United States Attorney Lawrence Keefe, of the Northern District of Florida, today announced that Colin Fisher, a citizen of the United Kingdom, was sentenced to two and a half years in federal prison on charges related to his attempt to export power generating equipment to Iran. He was also fined $5000. Fisher was arrested by federal agents earlier this year when he arrived at the Pensacola airport from the United Arab Emirates in order to complete the illegal transaction and obtain equipment for a buyer in Iran.

Fisher pled guilty in September to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and attempted smuggling. Between 2017 and the time of his arrest in August, Fisher, 45, worked to violate the Iranian embargo by attempting to export a Solar Mars 90 S turbine core engine and parts from the United States for delivery to an end user in Iran. This included participating in fraudulent invoicing and using coded language with conspirators to communicate about the illegal transactions. Despite these efforts, law enforcement authorities discovered the plan and were able to seize the turbine before its transatlantic journey to the end user, a conspirator in Iran who is linked to an Iranian energy company. The turbine, which was valued at half a million dollars, could have been used to provide energy to the oil fields of Iran.

“The Iranian embargo is directly related to the national security of the United States, and by attempting to evade that embargo Fisher and his fellow conspirators placed this nation directly at risk,” U.S. Attorney Keefe said. “It’s appalling to think that someone would place personal financial gain above the safety of the nation, but this case shows we will pursue and punish those who try.”

When Fisher was arrested on August 7, 2020, he had arrived at the Pensacola International Airport to meet with individuals he believed would help him finalize the illicit transaction. Instead, he was met by agents from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who took him into custody. When he completes his prison sentence, Fisher will be removed from the United States.

“American law enforcement remains relentless in our efforts to protect the national security of this country,” said Rachel L. Rojas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Jacksonville Division. “This case proves our continued commitment to pursue anyone who acts as an agent of the Iranian government in the United States.  The FBI is proud to support our partners at the Department of Commerce – Bureau of Industry and Security and we are thankful for the support of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida throughout this investigation.”

James Meharg, CEO and president of Turbine Resources International, LLC, in Pensacola, was previously convicted of conspiring with Fisher to export the turbine and parts from the United States to an Iranian recipient, in violation of the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations.  Meharg is currently serving a 3½-year sentence in federal prison.

Assistant United States Attorney David L. Goldberg prosecuted the case following a joint investigation by the United States Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.