By Associated Press - Saturday, December 19, 2020

GREENBELT, Md. (AP) - A defense contractor has pleaded guilty in Maryland to illegally selling Chinese-manufactured body armor and other products to U.S. federal agencies.

Arthur Morgan, 67, of Lorton, Virginia, faces a possible prison sentence after pleading guilty on Friday to federal charges of wire fraud and illegal possession of a firearm. U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel is scheduled to sentence him on March 15.

Morgan was CEO of of Surveillance Equipment Group Inc. and had government contracts to supply federal agencies with ballistic vests, helmets, riot gear and other items.

Morgan falsely certified that products he was selling were from Hong Kong and the U.S. when he knew that he was providing goods made in China in violation of the Trade Agreements Act, U.S. Attorney Robert Hur’s office said in a news release.

Between September 2014 and August 2019, approximately six federal government agencies placed at least 11 orders for hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of equipment from Morgan’s company.

Investigators who searched Morgan’s properties in Virginia last December seized several guns. Hur’s office says Morgan was prohibited from possessing firearms because in 1982 he had been convicted in Maryland of charges including second-degree murder.

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