Multiple People Accused of Taking Part in Scheme To Aid Russia in War

Multiple People Accused of Taking Part in Scheme To Aid Russia in War

( – Countries under sanctions often turn to the black market to acquire important things they need, such as oil and weapons. Yet, the US government is constantly searching for illegal activities on American shores, and it just discovered and charged five Russians and two US nationals for allegedly aiding the Russian military in its unlawful acquisition of arms.

On Tuesday, December 13, the DOJ announced 16 counts of conspiracy and money laundering against five Russians, one of whom it believes to be an officer in the country’s FSB security forces. Meanwhile, two US-based people accused of running a smuggling ring are Alexey Brayman, from New Hampshire and Vadim Yermolenko, from New Jersey. They allegedly used an online Etsy store as their front for smuggling advanced electronics to Russia through Europe.

The plan reportedly began in or before 2017 and was still going on when Russia began its war in Ukraine in February 2022. Authorities arrested both men recently, and they’re currently free on bond. A federal court has scheduled them to appear in February 2023.

According to the Justice Department’s press release, US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace called the alleged scheme “a sophisticated procurement network that illegally obtained sensitive US technology to facilitate the Russian war machine.”

The Associated Press reported that Yermolenko’s attorney declined to comment on the case, while Brayman’s attorney asserted that his client should be presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, if the seven individuals involved are guilty of sending advanced electronics and US-made bullets to Russia, the DOJ will ensure they pay for their crimes.

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