Military Aircraft, AD-4N Skyraider To End Up At Naval Museum
By Jim Douglas
January 8, 2012 - A federal judge in Alabama has issued
a forfeiture order for a Douglas AD-4N Skyraider
aircraft after an investigation by U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security
Investigations (HSI) determined that it had been
smuggled into the United States illegally.
Dec. 21, Judge William M. Acker, Jr., U.S. District
Judge for the Northern District of Alabama, ordered that
the aircraft, log books, four 20mm M3 aircraft cannons
and assorted aircraft parts be forfeited to the
government as property brought into the United States in
violation of U.S. law.
"The Skyraider aircraft, its cannons and parts are all subject to import licensing requirements as ?defense articles' under the Arms Export Control Act. Federal law prohibits the importation of defense articles without a license or permit," said Raymond R. Parmer, Jr., special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in New Orleans.
aggressively investigates these cases in order to deter this
type of illegal activity and protect those who abide by our
nation's laws." Parmer oversees responsibility for the states of
Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee and Louisiana.
Regulations and restrictions on the importation of defense
articles exist in order to secure and protect the United States.
Forfeiture is an appropriate remedy where a military aircraft is
flown into the country without the proper authorization or
license, under false pretenses and where an attempt was made to
separately smuggle its cannons and assorted aircraft parts into
aircraft, owned by Claude Hendrickson, president of Dixie
Equipment in Woodstock, Ala., was flown into the country in
August 2008 without the required authorization from the U.S.
Department of State. The pilot, who was hired by Hendrickson to
fly the plane from France into the United States, provided false
information to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers
at the Port of Buffalo, N.Y., to gain admittance into the
cannons arrived at the Port of Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 8, 2008,
inside two 40-foot shipping containers being imported by Dixie
Equipment. CBP officers discovered the cannons concealed in a
wooden box, hidden under aircraft parts in the nose of one of
the containers, although the cannons were not listed on the
entry form, bill of lading, invoice or any other documentation
submitted by Dixie Equipment.
CBP officers seized the cannons and aircraft parts on Oct. 15, 2008. The ICE HSI investigation following that seizure revealed the Skyraider aircraft had entered the United States illegally. ICE HSI agents seized the plane pursuant to a court order on April 24, 2009, at the Bessemer Airport, where it had been delivered to Hendrickson in August 2008.
Neither the State Department nor the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) had granted a permit, license or other written authorization for the importation of the Skyraider, the cannons or the aircraft parts at the time they entered the United States.
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