FLINT (WWJ/AP) – A father and son from Genesee County have pleaded guilty in an investigation of welding work on Tomahawk missiles.

Dennis Frederick and son Brian Frederick acknowledged in Flint federal court Wednesday that they lied to the government about their company’s work on parts of the missile.

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Precision Metal Spinning in Fenton had a contract to weld seams on the outer wall assembly of missile engines. But the company had difficulty meeting specifications and instead hired Chicago-based Weld Seam Inc. to do the job.

Cracks were discovered in 2011 by Williams International, the company supplying engines to the main missile contractor, Raytheon Corp.

Eighty-three metal assemblies were scrapped and 2,700 more had to be inspected, the government said.

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The government is recommending 18-month prison sentences for the Fredericks when they return to court on Sept. 3.

Prosecutors have said they want the sentences to be served at different times so the business can remain open with one of the Fredericks in charge. Defense attorney Michael Manley praised the government for not using its authority to shut down Precision Metal.

“They could have brought a much bigger hammer that would have affected 40 jobs in Genesee County,” he said.

The Fredericks must also repay $1.6 million to the government in a series of payments through February 2020.

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