News and Press Releases

Russian National Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to
Smuggle Night Vision Technology to Russia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 10, 2014

Wilmington, DE - Charles M. Oberly, III, United States Attorney for the District of Delaware, announced today that Dmitry Ustinov, of Moscow, Russia, pled guilty in federal court for the District of Delaware to conspiring to export high-tech military technology, including night vision devices and thermal imaging scopes, outside the United States, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.  The military technology listed in the conspiracy offense was designated on the United States Munition List as defense articles and was prohibited from export outside the United States pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

U.S. Attorney Oberly stated:  “The export of items designated on the U.S. Munitions List as defense articles is a serious federal crime that could jeopardize the safety and well-being of United States’ service members or our allies.  Individuals engaging in this activity can and will be prosecuted even if we have to reach across the ocean to make the arrest.”

"HSI will continue to pursue individuals who are willing to put America's national security at risk,” said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI in Philadelphia. “The illegal export of technology to prohibited countries is controlled so that it cannot be used to harm America or its allies. Enforcing export laws are one of HSI's top priorities and we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to stop these criminals in their tracks.”

Following a lengthy investigation, the defendant was indicted by a grand jury sitting in Wilmington, Delaware, on March 25, 2013, for offenses related to violating the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.  On April 15, 2013, at the request of the United States Government, the defendant was arrested in Vilnius, Lithuania after entering the country from Russia.  On May 7, 2013, the grand jury issued a Superseding Indictment with additional offenses related to smuggling arms outside the United States.  Following the Superseding Indictment, the defendant was subsequently extradited from Lithuania to Delaware on August 23, 2013. 

According to court documents filed in this case, between July 2010 and April 2013, Ustinov worked with a supplier based in Virginia to purchase and export night vision equipment from the United States to Russia without obtaining any export licenses from the U.S. Department of State.  Ustinov further arranged for international wire transfers to occur so that money could be provided to the supplier’s bank account as payment for this equipment.  The conspiracy offense alleged that various types of high-tech night vision devices were part of the scheme, including an L3 Insight Mini Thermal Monocular, Night Optics D-740 Night Vision Scopes, and Forward Looking Infrared Tau 640 Thermal Imaging Cameras, among other targeting devices. 

The defendant faces a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine.  A sentencing hearing has been scheduled by the District Court for October 2, 2014.

This case was investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jamie M. McCall and Trial Attorney Mariclaire Rourke of the Counterespionage Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, National Security Division.  For further information, please contact AUSA McCall at 302-573-6079.

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