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Crime & Courts

Federal judge sentences British man to 33 months for scheming to sell missile parts to Iran


FILE - In this April 25, 2012 file photo, British businessman Christopher Tappin, left, leaves federal court with one of his lawyers, Kent Schaffer, in El Paso, Texas. A U.S. judge on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013 is expected to sentence the 65-year-old Tappin, who pleaded guilty in November to trying to buy missile parts and resell them to Iran. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca, File) (The Associated Press)

A British businessman has been sentenced to 33 months in prison for trying to buy missile parts and resell them to Iran.

Christopher Tappin pleaded guilty in November after reaching a plea agreement that opened the door for him to serve part of his sentence in Britain near his wife. A judge sentenced him Wednesday.

The 65-year-old pleaded guilty to trying to purchase missile batteries from undercover U.S. agents with the intention of exporting them to Iran without obtaining a license.

Tappin's extradition to the U.S. in February 2012 touched a nerve in Britain, where many believe extradition arrangements with the United States are unfairly weighted against British citizens.

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