BY JON CRONIN
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested a Rego Park man for allegedly shipping military- grade weapons illegally to Ukraine, the U.S. attorney for New York’s eastern district said.
U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers said that Volodymyr Nedoviz, a lawful permanent resident of the United States and Ukrainian citizen, was arrested on March 7 after he allegedly illegally exported 83 rifle scopes and thermal-imaging devices. According to Amazon and eBay records obtained by federal authorities, Nedoviz paid $190,000 for the scopes and thermal- imaging devices.
“The export of military-grade rifle scopes and thermal-imaging equipment requires a license from either the United States Department of State or the United States Department of Commerce,” the U.S. attorney said.
Federal authorities also identified Nedoviz’s twin brother, R.N., among his alleged co-conspirators. The defendant’s brother is alleged to have lied about being a United States citizen and a permanent resident in Ridgewood on a required form. Last spring, he was denied entrance to the United States on the grounds that he was unable to prove that his intention was not to move here permanently.
Federal agents also executed a search warrant at a Philadelphia location that was used in connection with Nedoviz’s alleged scheme.
According to the U.S. attorney, “Part of the conspiracy, in order to induce U.S.-based manufacturers and suppliers to sell them the export-controlled devices and to evade applicable controls, the defendant and his co-conspirators falsely purported to be United States citizens and concealed the fact they were exporters.”
Nedoviz and his alleged co-conspirators allegedly recruited, trained and paid several U.S.-based individuals to export the weapons to Ukraine via various freight forwarding companies. Nedoviz and his team allegedly trained cohorts to conceal the items by inaccurately describing them and using fake names and addresses on export forms.
“These items, including rifle scopes and thermal-imaging equipment, have strict export controls in order to make sure that our soldiers overseas never have to encounter them on the battlefield. It is a mission we at HSI take very seriously,” said Angel Melendez, the special agent in charge of the investigation by Homeland Security Investigations of New York.
Reach Jon Cronin at 718-357-7400 x125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @JonathanSCronin