Five people have been accused in the U.S. of conspiring to unlawfully export defense articles to Russia. Specifically, the defendants allegedly exported thermal imaging riflescopes and night-vision goggles without a license, in violation of the Arms Export Control Act.
During nearly four years, they purchased dozens of thermal imaging devices, most of which cost between USD 5,000 and 10,000 and are controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, from sellers across the United States.
They obtained many of the items using aliases, falsely assuring the sellers that they would not export the items from the United States. The thermal imaging devices were then exported to co-conspirators in Russia using aliases and false addresses to conceal their activities. They hid the thermal imaging devices among other non-export-controlled items when exporting them to Russia, and they falsely stated on export declarations that the contents of their exports were non-export-controlled items with values of less than USD 2,500. In no case did any of the defendants obtain the required export licenses to export defense articles to Russia.