- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Pennsylvania man pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges he tried to illegally send laboratory equipment to Syria.

Harold Rinko, 72, of Hallstead, admitted he tried to send items used to detect chemical weapons to Syria, violating a U.S. law that bans exports to the war-torn nation except food and medicine.

“No good comes of illegal exports to Syria during this time of gross misgovernment and civil strife,” said John Kelleghan, special agent in charge for Philadelphia’s U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations unit.

Rinko is facing a possible sentence of five years in prison, three years supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

Prosecutors said Rinko used his company as a front to acquire the equipment and planned to send it to Syria by shipping it through several other countries, including the U.K., Jordan and United Arab Emirates.

Investigators said they do not yet know what the ultimate use of the equipment in Syria was going to be.

This article is based in part on wire service reports.

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