GARY T. KUBOTA / GKUBOTA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Former Northrup Corp. engineer Noshir Gowadia is accused of illegally selling B-2 stealth bomber secrets to foreign governments and has been living with his wife, Cheryl, in this house in rural Huelo, Maui. Houses in the area have sold for more than $2 million recently.
Rural area was site of FBI search
Noshir Gowadia and his wife are relative newcomers to the low-key, high-priced locale
HAIKU, Maui » In rural Huelo, many of the unpaved rutted roads lead to multimillion-dollar homes with manicured lawns and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
And it was in one of these homes, federal authorities allege, that Noshir S. Gowadia kept government secrets about one of America's most formidable weapons, a B-2 stealth bomber.
It is an impressive dwelling, Mediterranean style with blue tile roof, white stucco-looking walls and a view overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Many of the homes in this area have recently been sold for about $2 million each. Gowadia and his wife bought the 2-acre lot for $330,000 in 1999.
During an Oct. 13 search, FBI agents seized classified documents from the house.
Agents said the documents dated back from Gowadia's employment with Northrop -- between 1968 and 1986 or to the early 1990s -- when he was a contract engineer at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Gowadia, a design engineer for the project, called himself the father of the B-2's infrared suppressing propulsion system. And now, authorities say, he allegedly sold B-2 secrets to about eight foreign governments, violating federal espionage laws.
An FBI agent said Gowadia reported receiving nearly $750,000 from 1999 to 2003, but the income could be greater because he has several bank accounts, some of which are foreign and unreported.
The home that was searched by the FBI sits on the edge of rural Maui, an area favored by residents who want to get away from urban Kahului.
Past the expensive homes, further up on the hillside, there are pineapple fields and farms along nearby Hana Highway, where unattended vendor stands let customers bag their own fruit and put the money in a locked cash box.
A few residents along Holokai Place and adjacent North Holokai Road said they do not know what to think about the alleged charges because they do not know the Gowadias, who are newcomers.
Residents said the area is the kind of place where neighbors, including Gowadia, wave as they drive in their cars, but most like their privacy and do not socialize with neighbors. Among them there are business owners and a retired pilot.
The air is clean, and there is no sound of traffic heard from Holokai Place and adjacent North Holokai Road in the late morning.
"It's not a busy street. It's a pretty friendly neighborhood," said Ariel Duell, a resident.
John Papazian, principal broker and owner of Haiku Properties, said many homes in the area have sold for more than $2 million.
"That area has become very popular with high-end windsurfers, and it's really appreciated dramatically in the last three to four years," he said.
A neighbor said it took the Gowadias at least a year to build their house.
The Gowadias have been active in the real estate market on Maui, buying a home in Kihei in 1999 for $75,000 and selling it in 2001 for $121,000. The couple also bought a house at Keonekai Estates in Kihei for $390,000 in 2001 and sold it for $575,000 in 2003, according to Maui County tax records.