Man Busted With Uranium in Shoes in His Luggage at JFK: Officials

By Katie Honan on August 23, 2013 5:42pm 

 A material that may have been meant for a weapon of mass destruction was found at JFK airport on August 11, 2013.
A material that may have been meant for a weapon of mass destruction was found at JFK airport on August 11, 2013.
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Christopher Parypa/Shutterstock.com

QUEENS — A Sierra Leone man was busted for hiding uranium inside shoes in his luggage at JFK and planned to sell 1,000 tons of the material to Iran, federal prosecutors said.  

According to authorities, Patrick Campbell, 33, was arrested Wednesday at JFK after flying in from Paris. 

He was stopped by the authorities before boarding a flight to Miami, where he planned to sell the uranium, which was hidden inside the soles of a pair of shoes.

The suspect allegedly responded to an ad posted by an undercover agent last year looking to buy "Uranium 308," a precursor to purified uranium, on Alibaba.com. 

According to the complaint, the agent asked for enough ore to yield 1,000 tons of purified uranium and the suspect claimed to work for a mining company in his home country.

When Campbell arrived at JFK on Aug. 21, he was also carrying a thumb drive with the a contract for the sale of the uranium and a PowerPoint presentation with details on the shipment.

The two samples of uranium ore he was allegedly carrying in his shoes was not harmful, prosecutors said.

Campbell is charged with violating trade regulations with Iran.

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