Federal search targets missile expert from Spokane Valley
Man with missiles experience not allowed on plane
A former Spokane Valley man and warhead expert is the target of a federal investigation, with federal agents Monday searching his home and stopping him from boarding a commercial flight in New York City.
Richard M. Lloyd, 49, a graduate of East Valley High School and Washington State University, is a former employee of U.S. defense contractor Raytheon. Lloyd has extensive hands-on experience with advanced state-of-the-art interceptor missiles and has served as principal investigator on missile projects.
Federal agents on Monday searched and removed materials from the suburban Boston home owned by Lloyd and his wife, Lori. Agents from the FBI and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau removed several boxes of items from the home and placed them in a van.
U.S. attorney’s office spokeswoman Christina DiIorio-Sterling wouldn’t comment on the reason for the search of the home in Melrose, Mass., a city of about 30,000 residents just north of Boston, but said there was “no immediate threat to the community.”
Richard Lloyd also had been stopped at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City while trying to board a flight with a Raytheon laptop computer that had information that he was not authorized to have, according to a federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not allowed to speak about the case.
Raytheon spokesman Jon Kasle confirmed Lloyd formerly worked at the Waltham, Mass.-based company, which recently was awarded a $47 million Army contract for Jackal passive infrared defeat systems as part of an effort to respond to combat emergencies, but he wouldn’t say when Lloyd left, how long he worked there or what he did.
Messages left Monday at a phone number listed for Lloyd weren’t returned.
A friend and a relative of Lloyd’s in Washington state said they were surprised by the news.
“It must be some sort of misunderstanding,” said Eric Johnson, a news anchor at KOMO-TV in Seattle who has known Lloyd since fourth grade.
Lloyd’s cousin, Chris Milionis, of Spokane Valley, said Lloyd comes home every three years or so to visit, but could not attend a class reunion this summer because he was traveling.
“He is a nice person and was a great athlete,” Milionis said.
A biography of Lloyd on the website of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics identifies him as a one-time manager of the Warhead Lethality Group of the Raytheon Co. Electronic Systems Division and as author of the 1998 book “Conventional Warhead Systems Physics and Engineering Design.”
Lloyd also is listed on Amazon.com as the author of “Physics of Direct Hit and Near Miss Warhead Technology.”
Public records of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office list Lloyd as the holder of five patents, including one issued June 1 for a “mine counter measure system,” described in part by the patent office as “a method of destroying mines in a minefield buried under the surface.”
Lloyd also is named as the holder of a patent for a “wide area dispersal warhead.”
Spokesmen for the Boston office of the FBI and ICE referred questions to the U.S. attorney’s office.
In a March 7, 2003, news article, The Spokesman-Review reported that Lloyd, then 42, was joining U.N. inspectors scrambling to uncover Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Lloyd was a volunteer inspector for UNMOVIC, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspections Commission.
U.N. officials forbade him from speaking to the press about the 2003 mission.
Lloyd was known locally for his sizzling fastball as an East Valley High School baseball pitcher. He was drafted right out of high school in 1980 by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He pitched in the minor leagues for a couple of years, but it was engineering that took him around the world after enrolling at Washington State. Lloyd graduated from WSU in 1986 with bachelor’s degrees in agricultural and mechanical engineering. He specialized in using mathematics to predict when metals would break under stress and how they might come apart.
He worked on several missile systems, including the Patriot Missile warhead for Raytheon.