Feds Accuse Local Company of Selling Military Tech Illegally

March 18 2010, 11:46 AM

Rocky Mountain Instrument Company of Lafayette is accused of illegally exporting defense technology to South Korea and China, among other countries that some fear could one day become hostile toward the United States. Prosecutors allege that RMI, which makes optics components, exported prisms and technical data for optics to the two countries, as well as Russia and Turkey, from 2005 to 2007 without obtaining permission from the U.S. State Department (via The Associated Press). The feds say the company will be forced to forfeit $1 million if execs are convicted of knowingly and willfully exporting the technology without a license. RMI spokeswoman Tricia Heller says the company expects to reach a plea agreement within the next 45 days, offering no further comment other than the company admits no wrongdoing. Byron J. Hogan, a federal agent, says in a news release, "The technical advantage the Department of Defense possesses with regard to military optics has been critical to the success of our Warfighters, and compromising that technology puts our service men and women at risk." Last July, RMI filed for Chapter 11 protection after a raid compounded a slump from the recession, according to the Denver Business Journal.