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PHOENIX -- A Venezuelan Air Force colonel has been sentenced to 19 months in federal prison in Arizona for trying to export military aircraft engines to his native country.

Prosecutors said Monday that 49-year-old Guiseppe Luciano Menegazzo-Carrasquel was sentenced by a federal judge in Phoenix for conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act.

They say Menegazzo-Carrasquel was part of a Venezuelan Air Force team that negotiated with Mesa, Ariz.-based Marsh Aviation between November 2005 and February 2008.

They wanted to refurbish 18 T-76 aircraft engines for use by the Venezuelan Air Force under the guise that the engines were meant for civilian use.

Prosecutors say it's illegal for the engines to be exported without a license or written authorization from the U.S. State Department.

Menegazzo-Carrasquel was arrested last September in Houston.

Associated Press,

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