MS-13 Gang Leader Sentenced to Life in Prison for Racketeering Charges Including the Murder of 16-Year-Old Victim in Alley Pond Park in Queens
A four-count indictment was unsealed yesterday in Brooklyn charging Nikita Arkhipov, Nikolay Grigorev and Artem Oloviannikov with conspiracy and other charges related to an export control scheme to benefit companies affiliated with the Russian military. Grigorev, a Brooklyn resident, was arrested on November 1, 2023. Arkhipov and Oloviannikov remain at large.
As alleged in the indictment and other court filings, the defendants utilized a Brooklyn-based corporate entity, Quality Life Cue LLC (QLC), to facilitate the export control scheme. QLC was registered and controlled by Grigorev and Oloviannikov, with Arkhipov utilizing a QLC email account from Russia. Through QLC, the defendants procured dual-use electronic components for entities in Russia involved in the development and manufacture of drones for the Russian war effort in Ukraine.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Matthew G. Olsen, Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, James Smith, Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), Jonathan Carson, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Export Enforcement, New York Field Office, Bureau of Industry and Security, US Department of Commerce announced the charges.
“As alleged, these defendants conducted a sophisticated scheme, violating American sanctions in order to fuel Russia’s war effort,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “In Brooklyn and around the world, our Office will not rest in making sure that military technologies do not fall into the wrong hands.”
“In the past two days alone, the Justice Department and its law enforcement partners have arrested and charged multiple individuals accused of perpetrating sophisticated schemes to unlawfully acquire, conceal, and ship U.S. electronic components on behalf of the Russian defense industry,” said Assistant Attorney General Matthew G. Olsen of the Justice Department’s National Security Division. “The National Security Division is committed to holding accountable individuals who would defy U.S. law in support of Russian aggression in Ukraine.”
“Sanctioned dual-use electronic components intended for the Russian military were allegedly obtained and exported by the defendants. Export control laws are put in place to defend our national security and any violation of these laws is extremely serious. FBI New York will ensure that anyone responsible for evading these laws is punished in the criminal justice system,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Smith.
“The Office of Export Enforcement is focused on rooting out the illicit procurement networks that supply Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine. We will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners and leverage our unique authorities to prosecute these violators responsible, as alleged in the indictment, for undermining the extensive sanctions put in place to stem the flow of war materials to Russia’s military,” stated Jonathan Carson, Special Agent in Charge, Office of Export Enforcement, New York Field Office, Bureau of Industry and Security, US Department of Commerce.
The most notable of these entities is SMT-iLogic, a Russia-based technology company. SMT-iLogic is associated with an entity known as the Special Technology Centre (STC). STC is a Russia-based entity that was added to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Person List (SDN List) on or about December 29, 2016, for assisting the foreign military intelligence agency of Russia’s armed forces, commonly known by the acronym “GRU,” in conducting signals intelligence operations.
According to public reporting, SMT-iLogic shares an address with STC in St. Petersburg, Russia, was founded by a top Russian scientist and major shareholder of STC, and has imported millions of dollars’ worth of electronics into Russia. On or about May 19, 2023, SMT-iLogic was also added to the SDN List. Per OFAC, SMT-iLogic “is known to be involved in the supply chain for producing Russian military UAVs used in Russia’s war against Ukraine.”
On or about January 4, 2017, STC was added by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) to the Entity List for supporting the GRU. STC was involved in the production of the “Sea Eagle Orlan 10 UAV,” a drone vehicle that has been involved in Russian military operations in Ukraine. STC’s biggest customer, according to the same reporting, is Russia’s Ministry of Defense, which paid STC the equivalent of nearly $99 million between February and August of 2022.
Export Control Scheme
As alleged in the indictment and other court filings, between October 22, 2021 and February 22, 2022, QLC accounts controlled by Grigorev received wire transactions from iLogic totaling approximately $272,830.40. These funds were used almost entirely to make payments to a Brooklyn-based electronics distributor (the “Brooklyn Company”) or pay Grigorev’s credit cards, which he used to buy goods from the Brooklyn Company. Email and chat communications among the defendants explicitly reference efforts to circumvent U.S. sanctions, use “test” or “fictitious” orders to test new supply lines to Russia, and discuss front companies in third countries. In June 2023, a court-authorized search warrant of Grigorev’s residence in Brooklyn successfully interdicted over 11,500 electronic components purchased from the Brooklyn Company that were awaiting unlawful export to Russia.
The charges in the indictment are allegations, and the
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s National Security and Cybercrime Section. Assistant United States
Today’s actions were coordinated through the Justice and Commerce Departments’ Disruptive Technology Strike Force and the Justice Department’s Task Force KleptoCapture. The Disruptive Technology Strike Force is an interagency law enforcement strike force co-led by the Departments of Justice and Commerce designed to target illicit actors, protect supply chains, and prevent critical technology from being acquired by authoritarian regimes and hostile nation states. Task Force KleptoCapture is an interagency law enforcement task force dedicated to enforcing the sweeping sanctions, export restrictions and economic countermeasures that the United States has imposed, along with its allies and partners, in response to Russia’s unprovoked military invasion of Ukraine.
SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
E.D.N.Y. Docket No.
Danielle Blustein Hass
United States Attorney’s Office