A Coney Island man faces 20 years behind bars following his arrest Tuesday morning for allegedly exporting illegal gun parts to Russia.
The criminal complaint alleges that the defendant, a 58-year-old Russian immigrant who has lived in the U.S. since 2011, sent parts for sniper rifles to buyers in Russia without obtaining a license from the State Department to export the restricted goods.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Coney Island suspect mislabeled the illegal shipments, and hid the gun components within them to avoid detection.
“As alleged in the complaint, [the defendant] violated laws intended to safeguard our national security,” stated U.S. Attorney, Richard P. Donoghue.
In May 2017, Customs and Border Protection seized a package the defendant allegedly sent through the U.S. Postal Service from his home on W. Fifth Street between West Avenue and Sidney Jonas Walk, which contained triggers, magazines, and other gun accessories — although the description of the package’s contents mentioned only “reloading tools, hand tools, sporting goods, and cleaning tools,” the criminal report claimed.
In another shipment sent April 2018, border security at John F. Kennedy International Airport uncovered more magazines and a rifle chassis hidden among sneakers, jeans, and a heating pad, according to the prosecution.
Cops arrested the defendant at his second home in Pennsylvania this morning, and brought him to Brooklyn, where U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara charged him with illegally exporting, attempting to export and conspiring to export firearm parts and accessories. If convicted, the defendant could face up to 20 years in prison.
The Coney Island man was released on a bond Tuesday afternoon, the U.S. Attorney’s Office reported.