Man Busted at JFK Trying to Smuggle Uranium to Iran in Shoes

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"Pray to God you don't drop that ... "
"Pray to God you don't drop that ... " Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Patrick Campbell of Sierra Leone was arrested at JFK Airport this week after allegedly agreeing to sell 1,000 tons of yellowcake uranium to a broker, with the product supposedly destined for Iran. In reality, he was dealing with Homeland Security agents, who'd posted a request ad on alibaba.com more than a year ago. After many Skype negotiations about the "delicate business transaction," a sample of the raw material, which can be used in nuclear weapons when enriched, was found hidden beneath the soles of shoes in Campbell's luggage. He also brought along a thumb drive with a PowerPoint presentation on the big sale that he'll never get to deliver.