Erik Prince Is Reportedly Under FBI Investigation For Trying To Weaponize Crop Duster Aircraft
Erik Prince, the former CEO of mercenary contractor Blackwater and a close ally of Donald Trump, is reportedly under investigation by the FBI for trying to weaponize two crop duster aircraft, The Intercept reported.
According to the report, Prince may have violated arms trafficking regulations in 2015 with his attempts to transform two American-made agricultural crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft. Prince has allegedly wanted to create light attack planes from single-engine agricultural aircraft to revolutionize small warfare for quite some time.
“The two planes, manufactured by Thrush Aircraft in Albany, Georgia, were the first prototypes Prince built in an effort to create a low-cost air force for his vision of privatized warfare,” the report reads.
The alleged violations were discovered in 2015 by U.S. law firm King & Spalding, which was by hired Hong Kong-based logistics company Frontier Services Group (FSG), which was founded by Prince. FSG reportedly contacted the U.S. firm to investigate its work and look for possible U.S. law violations in its weapon sales and export of defense services.
After King & Spalding discovered the possible violations, they reportedly recommended that FSG pass the information on to the Department of Justice (DOJ), which The Intercept reports it did in 2016.
(THREAD) Erik Prince—Trump advisor; ex-head of a murderous mercenary army; would-be head of Trump's private spy agency; would-be head of a privatized U.S. army—is a dangerous liar. He just testified under oath. This is a live reading of the transcript. Hope you'll read and share. pic.twitter.com/XNMqpnERX6
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) December 7, 2017
FSG CEO Gregg Smith contacted the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls and said that the violations are linked to Prince.
“The potential violations stem principally from conduct of Mr. Prince, a U.S. person,” he reportedly wrote in a letter obtained by The Intercept.
But in 2018, an FSG spokesperson talked to The Intercept on behalf of both the company and Prince, and denied allegations that Prince violated the law.
“Any assertion that FSG or Mr. Prince violated any laws in this matter is categorically false,” they said.
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Prince recently spoke with conservative commentator Candace Owens in a PragerU clip from December. During the interview, Prince touched on his work with Blackwater and the reported hate the company gets from the political left.
According to Prince, such hatred stems from his lifestyle.
“And Blackwater represented everything they loved to hate. I was a heterosexual male with children that owned a lot of guns and a weapons training facility.”
In addition to allegations of illegally modifying crop dusters, Prince is the focus of several other ongoing probes. One focuses on accusations that he lied to Congress, while The Wall Street Journal claims that another is linked to a 2017 armed aviation proposal to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).