3 Seized in Plot to Sell Saudis, Iraq Bomb Plans

From Times Wire Services

Three men were accused Wednesday of plotting to sell classified U.S. technology for manufacturing so-called "cluster bombs" to Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

A complaint filed in Los Angeles federal court charges the men conspired to export "technical data directly related to the combined effects munitions weapon," or cluster bomb, to the Saudi Defense Ministry without required State Department approval in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.

A sworn statement from an FBI agent filed in court contains disclosures from an informant who said that one of the three suspects claimed to have microfilm of a complete cluster bomb package. The informant said he was told that the information would be delivered to Iraq, which is engaged in a protracted war with Iran.

Taken Into Custody

The suspects were identified as Richard Herman Schroeder, 54, of Diamond Bar; Anthony George Cenci, 61, Costa Mesa, and Richard T. Nortman, 59, Venice. They were taken into custody without incident about noon at a hotel near Los Angeles International Airport, FBI Agent Jim Neilson said.

Schroeder and Cenci were executives of a Diamond Bar firm, Westland Group International, according to the documents filed with the court. Schroeder described the firm as "a tightly knit group of managers, engineers, financial experts, scientists and educators" who provide high-technology products, services and training.

If convicted, the men could receive 10 years in prison or $10,000 fines or both, Neilson said.

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