A man arrested at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City had uranium in his shoes and was planning to have it shipped to Iran.
The man, Patrick Campbell, 22, was arrested on August 21 after flying into New York from Paris.
Prosecutors told NBC that Campbell had connections with an undercover Homeland Security agent who had told him he had connections with a firm that mined uranium in Sierra Leona.
The agent started by psoting an ad on the website alibaba.com seeking to purchase processed uranium, or yellowcake uranium, which can be used in nuclear weapons when further processed.
The suspect responded to the ad.
Prosecutors said the agent told the suspect he wanted to get uranium to send to a Middle Eastern country.
The suspect intended to fly to Miami to meet the agent. When arrested he had raw uranium in two pairs of shoes and a thumb drive with a contract for the sale and supply of 1,000 tons of uranium to Iran, according to Newsday. He faces up to 20 years in jail and a possible $1 million fine.
The arrest was the result of a 15-month investigation.