Tappin: Extradited Brit Jailed For Arms Dealing

British businessman Christopher Tappin has been jailed for 33 months for trying to buy missile parts and resell them to Iran.

US District Judge David Briones, who sentenced Tappin to two years and nine months in prison, said he would recommend that the Department of Justice approve any request by Tappin to be transferred to the UK. He was also fined \$11,357 (£7,089)

The 65-year-old, who is from Orpington, Kent, tried to buy missile batteries from undercover US agents with the intention of exporting them to Iran without obtaining a license.

Tappin’s extradition to the US in February 2012 touched a nerve in Britain, where many believe extradition arrangements with the US are unfairly weighted against British citizens.

The former president of the Kent Golf Union had fought extradition for two years until being denied a petition to take the case to Britain’s Supreme Court.

Tappin pleaded guilty in November after reaching a plea agreement that opened the door for him to serve part of his sentence in Britain near his wife.

His lawyer, Dan Cogdell, explained at the time that Tappin “regrets his conduct, he regrets the time away from his family, he regrets the notoriety”.

The plea agreement stated that prosecutors would not oppose any request by Tappin to serve part of his sentence in Britain.

The British government also would have to allow Tappin to serve time in one of its prisons.

Tappin’s lawyer anticipated that his client might spend several months in a US prison before that process is completed.

In 2006, Tappin associate Robert Gibson contacted a company set up by undercover US agents to buy batteries for surface-to-air missiles.

US authorities alleged Tappin provided undercover agents with false documents to deceive authorities and circumvent the requirement for the batteries to be licensed by the US government before being exported.

Two men have already been sentenced to prison for charges related to the indictment.

Gibson, another British national, pleaded guilty in April 2007 and was sentenced to 24 months in prison.

Robert Caldwell, from Oregon, was found guilty in July of that year and received a 20-month sentence.

After he was brought to Texas, Tappin was held at the Otero County Jail for about two months, where he initially was put in solitary confinement at his request.

Tappin was later released on bond and has since lived near his lawyer’s house in a gated community in Houston.