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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Minnesota

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Plymouth Man Pleads Guilty To Smuggling Thousands Of Rounds Of Ammunition To The Ukraine

MINNEAPOLIS—Earlier today in federal court, a 37-year-old Plymouth man pleaded guilty to smuggling ammunition from the United States to the Ukraine. Paul Kalash pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States. Kalash, who was charged on February 11, 2013, entered his plea before U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael J. Davis.

On February 22, 2011, U.S. Custom and Border Protection (“CBP”) agents seized two packages shipped by Kalash to the Ukraine containing a firearm stock and 2,600 rounds of assorted ammunition. Packages seized on March 6 and 10, 2011, each contained 1,700 rounds of ammunition. And several packages seized on April 1, 2011, contained 2,850 rounds and 300 9-millimeter shell cases.

On March 7, 2011, CBP sent Kalash a notice of seizure, explaining that his packages were seized, and that a license was required to export ammunition. On April 3, 2011, Kalash responded and requested that the ammunition be returned to him. In his letter, Kalash argued that he was sending the items for the purpose of providing his friend with better marksmanship competition-grade ballistics.

Following his receipt and acknowledgement of the letter, on May 6, 2011, CBP seized yet another package sent by Kalash containing 950 rounds of assorted ammunition. In addition, Kalash admitted that he shipped other packages to the Ukraine during this time period about which the government was not fully aware.

For his crime, Kalash faces a potential maximum penalty of ten years in federal prison. Judge Davis will determine his sentence at a future hearing, yet to be scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and CBP. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles J. Kovats.



Updated April 30, 2015