DENVER – Federal agents arrested two Russian nationals in Denver Thursday morning who are accused of conspiring with a New York man to illegally export to Russia high-tech microelectronics that can be used in military and weapons technology.
Dmitrii Aleksandrovich Karpenko and Alexey Krutilin, the two Russians, are scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court in Denver at 2 p.m. Thursday on the conspiracy charges. The Department of Justice says government lawyers will seek their extradition to New York.
The two men allegedly conspired with Alexey Barysheff, a naturalized U.S. citizen of Brooklyn, New York, to obtain the electronics, which included digital-to-analog converters and integrated circuits the DOJ says can be used in “a wide range” of military systems.
The technology can be built into radar and surveillance systems, missile guidance systems and satellites, and requires licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce before the items can be exported.
The feds point to anti-terrorism and national security concerns as the need for the licenses, which the three men allegedly never obtained.
A complaint detailing their alleged crimes says that Barysheff used two companies he established last year to create fronts for the exporting scheme.
It says Karpenko, who used the alias of “Simon Fox,” and Krutilin, who went by “David Powell,” acted as representatives of the front companies, BKLN Spectra, Inc. and UIP Techno Corporation – both registered as domestic business corporations in New York.
They allegedly then gave suppliers and manufacturers false information about who the technology was being sent to and classified the pieces of technology falsely in order to get the them through the Department of Commerce’s export system.
The men would allegedly ship the technology to Finland via Canada or Mexico before it was eventually sent on to Russia.
A total of five digital-to-analog converters were exported, as were 400 integrated circuits.
The two Russians flew to Denver Oct. 3 to meet with two undercover agents who had been working with the men. They allegedly tried to enter Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs the next day for unknown reasons, but were turned away by military security.
Both Karpenko and Krutilin used their Russian passports when trying to get into the base, but Krutilin left a business card noting he was "Simon Fox."
The two met with the undercover agents Oct. 5 and arranged to export more of the circuits, seemingly enough evidence to finally arrest them Thursday.
“Had law enforcement not interceded, the alleged perpetrators would have exported materials that are known to be used in a wide range of military devices,” said Angel M. Melendez, the Special Agent in Charge for HSI New York, in a news release. “HSI will continue to partner with other law enforcement agencies while focusing its efforts on national security and stopping the illegal flow of sensitive technology.”
Several agencies, including the Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI and others, worked on the investigation, which remains ongoing.
“The attempted theft of restricted U.S. technology by foreign actors severely threatens the United States’ defensive posture,” said Special Agent in Charge Craig Rupert, DCIS Northeast Field Office.
If eventually convicted, the three men face up to 25 years in prison and a $1 million fine.