An engineer was arrested Friday for allegedly smuggling confidential "Star Wars" data out of the country in a bid to pass the technology to South Africa.

Ronald Hoffman, 51, of Los Angeles, was taken into custody at Los Angeles International Airport and expected to be arraigned Friday afternoon in federal court on at least one count of illegally exporting the U.S. military data abroad.Hoffman, the target of a five-month federal investigation, is accused of smuggling "technical data used for research" on the Strategic Defense Initiative, or "Star Wars" missile defense system, Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fahey said.