Russian Citizen Convicted for Conspiring to Illegally Send Night Vision Technology to Russia

June 21, 2021 Updated: June 21, 2021

A Russian national was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to charges of conspiring to transmit high-end U.S. military technology to Russia.

Some of the tech that 53-year-old Dmitry Ustinov is accused of trying to export includes night vision devices and thermal imaging scopes.

The investigation was directed by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

“HSI will continue to deter individuals putting America’s national security at risk by illegally exporting technology to prohibited countries,” stated John Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia.

“Our longstanding commitment with our federal law enforcement partners to stop the illegal export of technology to prohibited countries underscores HSI’s determination to dismantle and disrupt any illegal scheme involving the illegal export of controlled military equipment.”

Ustinov was arrested in Lithuania on April 15, 2013, at the request of the U.S. Government after a long HSI investigation. On March 25, 2013, he was indicted by a grand jury, which, on May 7, 2013, enacted a superseding indictment for more offenses involving the smuggling of arms outside the United States.

He had entered Lithuania from Russia, and on Aug. 23, 2013, he was extradited from the former to the United States.

Court documents state that between 2010 and 2013, Ustinov cooperated with a Virginia-based supplier to acquire and export night vision gear to Russia with no export license from the Department of State. He allegedly arranged international wire transfers so that the supplier could get paid for the 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,” ICE stated.