- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Russian who pleaded guilty to trying to export high-tech U.S. military equipment was sentenced to 18 months in prison by U.S. District Court.

Dmitry Ustinov admitted he was trying to smuggle D-740 night-vision scopes, Flir Tau 640 thermal-imaging cameras and Insight Mini Thermal Monoculars to Russia, between July 2010 and April 2013, The Blaze reported. The 640s can be affixed to vehicles and aircraft, including surveillance drones.

“First, Ustinov worked closely with a United States-based straw purchaser to conceal his involvement at the point of sale,” said Charles Oberly III, the U.S. attorney for the District of Delaware. “Second, once a specific defense article was identified for purchase, Ustinov wired money to the straw purchaser to buy the defense article from front companies located in off-shore accounts in Cyprus.”

Ustinov then falsely labeled the packages so they would fall under customs’ radar, The Blaze reported.

Ustinov, 53, pleaded guilty in July 2013 but denied wrongdoing when he was later extradited from Lithuania. Russia fought the extradition and criticized the United States for its handling of the case.

“[We’re] outraged by the fact that American special services and law enforcement agencies are still trying to legitimize the practice of arresting and detaining Russian nationals in third countries on frivolous grounds,” Konstantin Dolgov, a Russian Foreign Ministry’s human rights representative, said in 2013, The Blaze reported.

Ustinov was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, but he will be deported after his federal prison sentence is finished.


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