Texas man pleads guilty to smuggling circuits overseas

PLANO, Texas — Prosecutors say a Texas man has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he smuggled circuits abroad for use by space programs in China and Russia.

Sixty-two-year-old Peter Zuccarelli of Plano, north of Dallas, pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that include conspiring to smuggle and illegally export from the U.S.

Prosecutors say that starting in 2015, Zuccarelli used his company to place orders with U.S. suppliers for the circuits, known as radiation-hardened integrated circuits. He repackaged them as "touch screen parts" and shipped them out of the U.S.

The circuits have space and military applications so their export is strictly controlled by federal law.

Authorities say he created fake paperwork and made false statements to regulators in an attempt to conceal the smuggling.

Zuccarelli faces up to five years in prison.

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