NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — Seven individuals were charged in a Brooklyn federal court on Tuesday for allegedly bypassing U.S. arms restrictions against Russia.
Two of the males are U.S. citizens — one from New Jersey and the other from New Hampshire. The other five men are Russian nationals.
Prosecutors suspect one of the Russian defendants, Vadim Konoshchenok, is an FSB agent.
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The FSB, or Federal Security Service, is a Russian intelligence agency akin to the CIA in the U.S.
Konoshchenok was arrested in Estonia on Dec. 6 after law enforcement searched a warehouse in which officers seized 375 pounds of U.S.-origin ammunition. He’ll face an extradition trial in Estonia before standing trial for conspiracy and related crimes in the U.S.
Alexey Brayman of New Hampshire and Vadim Yermolenko of New Jersey, were also arrested.
The other four defendants, Yevgeniy Grinin, Aleksey Ippolitov, Boris Livshits and Svetlana Skvortsova, remain at-large.
The U.S. accused the seven defendants of running a “global procurement and money laundering network on behalf of the Russian government.”
Several of the defendants and companies they owned were subjected to U.S. sanctions after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
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“The Department of Justice and our foreign allies will not tolerate illicit schemes to bolster the Russian military’s war efforts,” said U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland. “With three of the defendants now in detention, we have destroyed the procurement network allegedly used by the defendants and Russian intelligence agencies to import sniper rifle ammo and sensitive technological components into Russia.” If convicted, the defendants each face up to 30 years in jail.