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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Texas man pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiring to illegally export radiation hardened integrated circuits for use in Russian and Chinese space programs, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

Peter Zuccarelli, 62, of Plano, Texas, received approximately $1.5 million from an unnamed co-conspirator to purchase the circuits for Chinese and Russian customers, in violation of strict export controls, the statement said.

Zuccarelli faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. A sentencing date has not been set, the statement said.

(Reporting by Eric Beech)

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