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Bolingbrook man gets 24 months in prison for trying to ship thermal imaging camera to Pakistan

A southwest suburban man was sentenced Thursday to 24 months in prison Wednesday for trying to ship a thermal imaging camera to Pakistan.

Bilal Ahmed, 33, of Bolingbrook pleaded guilty to willfully violating export control regulations, specifically the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer sentenced him to 24 months in prison and two years of supervision after his release, according to a statement from federal prosecutors.

Ahmed was owner and president of Trexim Corp., which used the address of a virtual office in Schaumburg, according to federal prosecutors. Between November 2013 and February 2014, he emailed with a California company and negotiated the purchase of a FLIR HRC-U camera for about $210,000.

On March 7, 2014, Ahmed took the camera to a shipper in Elk Grove Village and left it to be shipped to a company in Pakistan, the indictment said. The package included a handwritten note containing the letters “NLR,” meaning “no license required.”

However, Ahmed never applied for, nor obtained a license from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, which is required to export such a camera to certain countries, including Pakistan, according to the indictment.

Ahmed also exported several other items on a Commerce Department list of controlled export goods to Pakistan, prosecutors said.

“For a period of at least four years, defendant made it his business to export items from the United States to overseas locations, without obtaining the necessary licenses and approvals when required,” prosecutors said in the court documents.

“In fact, based just on the purchase orders recovered from defendant’s computer at the time of his arrest, purchase orders reflected the export of approximately 203 items from the United States to Pakistan,” prosecutors said.

Bilal, who has been out on bond since his arrest, was ordered to report to prison on July 17.