CASPER, Wyo. — An Afton man accused of violating United States trade sanctions against Syria has been sentenced by a federal judge to three years of probation.
U.S. District Judge Nancy D. Freudenthal also ordered Matt Kallgren to four months of home confinement. The sentence was handed down Monday in a Cheyenne federal courtroom.
Last June, federal authorities accused Kallgren of sidestepping the trade ban by sending oil pumps, starters, gaskets and other parts through the United Arab Emirates. At the time, Kallgren was manager for PC Industries in Afton, a diesel engine sales and repair business.
It has been illegal since 2004 to export items other than food, medicine and cell phones to Syria. The United States has accused the country of supporting terrorism and working to manufacture weapons of mass destruction.
In November, Kallgren pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate export laws, a felony carrying a maximum possible penalty of five years worth of probation. In exchange for the plea, federal prosecutors dismissed three other charges.
Kallgren agreed to sell $7,100 worth of parts to an unnamed Syrian company in late 2006, according to an indictment. When UPS notified him that federal law prohibited shipping the parts to Syria, Kallgren allegedly emailed the customer that he was “researching to find some way to ship these parts to you,” the indictment states.
The following May, Kallgren succeeded in shipping the parts directly to Damascus, according to the indictment.
When U.S. customs officials blocked another shipment in June 2008, Kallgren allegedly changed the invoice to falsely indicate that the parts had been sold to a freight company in Dubai. He then told the Syrian company that they could arrange to have the parts shipped into Syria from Dubai, according to the indictment.
Kallgren’s attorney, John Bowers of Afton, did not respond to messages seeking comment Tuesday afternoon.