(UnitedVoice.com) – While no one can predict how long Russian President Vladimir Putin prepared to invade Ukraine, he likely knew he would need to stockpile ammunition and military tech. Yet, when nations such as his are under various sanctions, they often turn to illegal means to bring them to their shores. The US government just uncovered a smuggling ring, which included two US nationals, pushing American tech to Russia.
On Monday, December 12, a Brooklyn court unsealed a 16-count indictment against five Russians and 2 US nationals. The two Americans were Alexey Brayman, who lives in New Hampshire, and Vadim Yermolenko, from New Jersey.
Alexey and Daria Brayman, a pair of thirty-something Eastern European emigres, blended into their Merrimack life of shared casseroles, poker nights, and neighborhood book clubs.
They run a popular online craft store. He attended Celtics games. They vacationed in Florida. pic.twitter.com/lwFxVAWhkQ
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) December 13, 2022
Authorities arrested both US-based men after learning they “unlawfully purchased and exported highly sensitive and heavily regulated electronic components” to Russia.
Newly unsealed federal indictment accuses Merrimack man of involvement in Russian smuggling ring. Documents say Alexey Brayman allegedly shipped items to Russia that are used to build weapons. #wmur pic.twitter.com/12fdLLSdWD
— Tim Callery (@TimCalWMUR) December 13, 2022
Using their homes in the US, Brayman and Yermolenko would hide the smuggled military equipment with fake invoices and shipping labels to transport it to their associates abroad. They also assisted their comrades in creating shell companies to keep the money flowing.
While Estonian authorities arrested one of their Russian national associates in Estonia, the other four are still at large. If courts find them guilty, each man could face up to 30 years in prison.
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