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Federal officials have not said why they raided the company, which employs about 200 people locally and manufactures automatic inflation devices, life rafts and pyrotechnical valves used on spacecraft, among other products.
The raid involved agents from six agencies, including the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the offices of inspector general with the Air Force, NASA and the defense department.
TAMPA — A federal raid last week of a St. Petersburg defense contractor focused on products used in parachuting devices during emergency ejections and internal documents about their components, performance and inspection, according to a search warrant provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Agents seizing property at Conax also sought information about manufacturing the MA-16, an inertia reel that a pilot or other military aircraft occupant uses as a safety device to attach to a parachute.
According to the search warrant, investigators were to seize "any and all MA-16s that contain or appear to contain broken teeth, sheared teeth and bent shafts. Any and all SEAWARS and/or UWARS that contain or appear to contain counterfeit/nonconforming resistors" or switches that were or appeared to be damaged."
Agents also sought to seize all documents, written or electronic, authorizing the substitution of used, counterfeit or commercial components in lieu of new parts that are required by more than a dozen federal agencies serving as clients.