The following article is a follow-up on a story that was posted here several months ago. It's not directly related to rocketry, but at the time some had suggested this man's fate was what ATF had in mind for unlicensed rocket hobbyists:
Man Found Innocent in Counterterror Case
By RICHARD BENKE .c The Associated Press
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A Canadian man charged with providing military training to foreign soldiers without a license and stockpiling hundreds of missile warheads at his counterterrorism school was acquitted Wednesday of all charges.
Prosecutors had claimed David Hudak, 42, knew he lacked State Department licensing when he gave soldiers from the United Arab Emirates military training last year under a $12.5 million contract.
Hudak testified that his southern New Mexico company, High Energy Access Tools, had provided similar training for soldiers from Canada, Singapore and Israel without licensing.
The defense also contended that Hudak, whose company trains police emergency response teams and anti-terrorism units, was misled by government officials and those who sold him 2,400 small warheads.
Hudak's father, Bob Hudak, noted his son had refused to negotiate a plea bargain.
``He took a hell of a chance, but justice has prevailed,'' said Bob Hudak, of Nanaimo, British Columbia.
David Hudak told jurors last week the warheads the government alleges he illegally owned were sold to him as legal demolition charges by Jet Research Center, a former subsidiary of Halliburton. He said he bought them for commercial demolition projects.
Officials with Halliburton, a Houston oil company once led by Vice President Dick Cheney, have said the sale was conducted after Halliburton sold Jet Research Center to another company.
A jury acquitted Hudak of nine federal felony charges, including exporting defense services without a license, possessing unregistered destructive devices and using explosives during the commission a felony. He had faced a minimum30-year mandatory sentence had he been found guilty.
Prosecutor Greg Wormuth relied on testimony from Hudak's co-workers, including former co-defendant Michael Payne. Payne, who pleaded guilty in July, said he repeatedly asked Hudak to delay the training because of the licensing problem.
Payne testified that Hudak told him money was too tight to stop and not to tell the Arab delegation about the licensing question. Hudak denied making those statements.
Hudak was not immediately released because a $10,000 immigration hold was placed on him at the time of his arrest. Co-counsel Tim Padilla said the government will have to dismiss the hold because of the jury's verdict.