Plea Set for Man Charged With Stealing Aircraft Carrier Specs

NORFOLK -- A former civilian engineer with the Navy plans to plead guilty next month in connection with a scheme to steal the plans for the new $12.9 billion Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier and give them to Egypt.

Mostafa Ahmed Awwad, 35, of Yorktown, is set to enter into a plea agreement on June 15 in U.S. District Court.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Hatch and James Broccoletti, Awwad's attorney, declined to comment on the agreement or say what it will entail.

Awwad was arrested in December on two counts of attempted exportation of defense articles and technical data.

The charges stemmed from a "false flag" operation orchestrated by the FBI and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. According to an FBI affidavit, Awwad handed over 10 computer-aided-design drawings of the Ford.

Prosecutors said the former Egyptian citizen told an undercover FBI agent last year that he took his job at Norfolk Naval Shipyard for the sole purpose of stealing military secrets.

Court documents indicate Awwad was born in 1979 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He married his wife, a U.S. citizen, in 2007 in Cairo and later moved to the United States. A defense attorney said he became a U.S. citizen in June 2012.

The affidavit said Awwad, a graduate of Old Dominion University, was hired in February 2014 to work as a civilian engineer in the nuclear engineering and planning department at the shipyard. His security clearance, received in August, gave him access to classified information up to the level of "secret."

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