Pair convicted for roles in secret $1.6 million Navy contract to build rifle silencers

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ALEXANDRIA, Virginia — A senior Navy intelligence official and a California race-car mechanic have been convicted for their roles in pushing through a secret Navy contract to build hundreds of untraceable rifle silencers for an unspecified program.

Navy civilian Lee Hall of Sterling was convicted of conspiracy and theft of government money for steering the nearly $2 million no-bid contract to his boss' brother, Mark Landersman of Temecula, California. Landersman was convicted of a single conspiracy count.

Witnesses said Landersman learned how to make the silencers off the Internet and had costs of only $10,000.

Prosecutors say the silencers didn't work and in some cases amplified sound. Defense attorneys say the deal was legitimate and had been authorized.

A judge in federal court in Alexandria issued the convictions Wednesday after separate bench trials.

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