BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut — A federal judge has declined to release from prison a former defense contractor engineer charged with trying to ship sensitive military documents to Iran, agreeing with prosecutors that he’s a flight risk.

Magistrate Judge William Garfinkel denied a request by Mozaffar Khazaee Wednesday to be released while he awaits trial on charges of transporting property stolen from companies where he’d worked, including jet engine maker Pratt & Whitney.

Hubert Santos, Khazaee’s attorney, says the government was wrongly inferring he was trying to help Iran. He says he was trying to get a job as a professor and was trying to impress a university.

Prosecutor Krishna Patel says authorities are concerned Iran could gain access to the materials.

Garfinkel says the government made a strong case he’s a flight risk.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press