Term Slashed in Stolen Navy Jet Parts Case

A ringleader in the 1985 case that involved the sale of stolen Navy jet engine parts to Iran won a significant reduction in his 13-year federal prison sentence Monday.

Franklin Agustin, 51, had his sentence reduced to six years by U. S. District Court Judge Leland Nielsen, who had sentenced him in 1986.

Agustin's attorney, J. William Beard, said the net effect of the reduction will allow Agustin to be released from prison almost immediately, with credits for the four years he has served plus those for good behavior.

In court, Assistant U.S. Atty. Phil Halpern told the judge that Agustin has cooperated with the government in the investigation since his incarceration.

"Mr. Agustin has given the government everything he has been asked for," said Halpern.

Halpern said the information supplied by Agustin helped in the December, 1988, extradition of an Iranian co-defendant, Saeid Asefi Inanlou, 41, who pleaded guilty several weeks ago to conspiracy to defraud the United States and making false statements.

"I feel he has been candid. The court may want to grant some reduction," said Halpern.

"The matter of the reduction will be left to the court's discretion," said the prosecutor, without making a recommendation.

Halpern did note that Agustin has "given truthful testimony" about the affair, apparently before a grand jury.

Meanwhile, Agustin's brother, Edgardo Agustin, 49, who is serving an 18-year term, also has a pending motion to reduce his sentence.

The smuggling ring operated between January, 1981, and July, 1985, illegally exporting parts worth millions of dollars that were stolen from Navy ships.

Franklin Agustin was described as receiving the stolen material and hiding it in a storage locker in Tierrasanta, then shipping it directly to Inanlou in England.

During Franklin Agustin's incarceration, he was diagnosed with valley fever, a lung disease marked by extreme fatigue.

Seven other co-defendants were also indicted, and all pleaded guilty.

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