Lebanese National Sentenced in Federal Court for Illegally Exporting Drone Parts to Aid Hezbollah

Second of two brothers sentenced in federal court in Minnesota for conspiring to export parts and technology to aid Hezbollah

Usama Darwich Hamade

Sentencing was handed down in federal court on Monday for the second of two brothers in Minnesota for materially aiding Hezbollah, a foreign terrorist organization.

United States Attorney for the district of Minnesota, Erica MacDonald, announced the sentencing on Monday of Usama Darwich Hamade, 55, to 42 months in prison for conspiring to illegally export goods and technology in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”) and other federal regulations.

The case stemmed from a 2018 indictment against Hamade and his brother Issam Darwich Hamade and a third co-defendant, Samir Ahmed Berro accusing the three of conspiring between 2009 and 2013 to export goods and technology without obtaining the required export licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of State, according to court documents.

According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, Usama Hamade conspired with others to export U.S. origin goods and technology, including inertial measurement units suitable for use in uncrewed aerial vehicles, or “UAVs,” digital compasses suitable for UAV use, a jet engine, piston engines, and recording binoculars for the benefit of Hezbollah. 

The sentence was handed down by Chief Judge John R. Tunheim in U.S. District Court and Hamade is scheduled to be deported immediately following completion of his sentence.

Issam Hamade pleaded guilty earlier this year and was subsequently sentenced to time served and was ordered to be deported. Berro is reported to still be at large.

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