FBI Raids Defense Contractor Linked To Murtha

January 22, 2009 1:34 p.m.

Local media in western Pennsylvania is reporting that FBI agents have raided the offices of a defense contractor in the area, which has received millions of dollars in earmarks at the request of earmark king Rep. John Murtha (D-PA).

According to The Hill, picking up on the local reports, Murtha engineered $8.2 million in federal defense earmarks last year on behalf of the company, Kuchera Industries and Kuchera Defense Systems.

A local TV station adds that the IRS was also involved in the raid, and that Bill Kuchera’s home and “game preserve,” a 161,00 acre property, were raided as well.

The report also notes, intriguingly, that signs on the property call it a “U.S. government test facility.”

In recent years the politically active company has given Murtha more than $56,000 in contributions, according to The Hill. And CEO Bill Kuchera served on the board of a non-profit founded by a former Murtha aide.

The paper adds:

Kuchera has several Pentagon contracts that could be worth more than $100 million over a decade, including parts used in air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, and robots used in dangerous war zones to patrol vehicles for booby traps and bombs.

Murtha’s career was nearly derailed in the 1980’s after he was caught on tape telling an undercover FBI agent he might want money for his district in exchange for legislative favors — and he regularly appears on good-government groups’ lists of the most corrupt members of Congress.

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