October 3rd, 2012
01:18 PM ET

Russian ring busted for alleged U.S. military export scheme

By Carol Cratty

The United States has charged 11 people with illegally exporting U.S. microelectronics to Russia for use by the military and intelligence agencies.
Seven suspects were arrested Wednesday in the Houston area, including Alexander Fishenko, a naturalized American citizen born in Russia. He also is accused of acting on behalf of the Russian government without registering as a foreign agent.

Another suspect, Alexander Posobilov, also a naturalized U.S. citizen, was arrested Tuesday night at George Bush International Airport in Houston. Authorities say he was headed to Singapore and Moscow.

Three other people allegedly involved in the procurement ring are believed to be at large in Russia.

Fishenko allegedly used his Houston-based business Arc Electronics Inc. to export items that are supposed to be under strict government control because of their potential military use in radar and surveillance systems, weapons guidance systems and detonation triggers.

Prosecutors say Fishenko also is a part owner of Moscow-based Apex System LLC, which is a certified supplier of military equipment to the Russians.

Both Arc and Apex are charged with illegal activity along with the 11 individuals in an indictment unsealed Wednesday.

Prosecutors allege Fishenko and the other defendants hid the fact they were exporters and pretended Arc Electronics produced mundane items such as traffic lights.

According to court documents, the participants in the alleged scheme told other Russian procurement companies to hide the materials they were receiving from Arc. Fishenko allegedly told one company, "Make it up pretty, correctly and make sure it looks good."

Posobilov allegedly told a business to alter a certificate about the end use of a shipment to indicate the materials were for "fishing boats, and not fishing/anti-submarine ones."

Prosecutors say Arc has exported approximately $50 million worth of microelectronics and other technology to Russia since 2002. It is not clear how much of that was illegal, but court documents said the illegal activity began in late 2008.

The eight suspects arrested in the Houston area were scheduled to have court appearances Wednesday.

Post by:
Filed under: Military • Spying
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. maltesefalconx9

    Russia should be Amerika's biggest ally.

    October 4, 2012 at 11:57 pm | Reply
  2. Alex279

    During Cold War era in the past US had implemented laws prohibiting export of almost everything related to electronic technology to Soviet Union. This includes long list of prohibited parts and classes of electronic devices, e.g., processors with more that 16-bit registers, and/or certain clock speeds, basic transistors capable to operate as frequencies faster that something pathetically small, etc... All kind of. These laws may seem t be outdated from the modern point of view, and are usually not enforced today, but are still in the books, and nobody abolished them. So, selectively, if needed for whatever reasons (political convenience, to embarrass President Obama one month before election, etc), these laws can be selectively enforced.

    In this particular case the defendant were accused, among other things, exporting a chip known as ADG819BRT to Russia. Search on the internet for a PDF file of the letter to the court moving for a permanent order of detention, dated Oct. 3, 2012, tutled Re: United States v. Alexander Fishenko, et al. Criminal Docket No. 12-626 (SJ) (E.D.N.Y.), filed by United States Attorney Loretta E. Lynch. On pages 11-12 it presents evidence - a reclamation letter
    from a Russian military regiment complaining that the entire batch of 320 microchips ADG819BRT they received is deffective, most likely contrafact, and needs to be replaced.

    What kind of animal this ADG819BRT is...

    Google search yields a few hundred hits ... as usual, for example, a PDF file of datasheet for ADG819BRT is available, and it reveals that the device is basically double-throw CMOS 1.8 V to 5.5 V 2:1 Mux/SPDT analog switch, designed to switch ON/OFF currents up to 200mA and operate at for frequencies up to 30MHz (that is right, THIRTY MEGAHERTZ only). A kind of replacement for mechanical switches in modern electronic gadgets, I guess, useful for
    acoustic or video- signals - 30MHz is not a lot.

    The part is designed by Analog Devices, a US company based in Norwood, MA, and produced elsewhere. Going to eBay, entering ADG819BRT, and hitting search button reveals that the part is available for sale on eBay at $8.80 (+$5.0 shipping). Shipping is from Hong Kong Worldwide.

    October 4, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Reply
    • Alex279

      datasheet for ADG819BRT is available at

      http://www.alldatasheet.com/datasheet-pdf/pdf/81901/AD/ADG819BRT.html

      October 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm | Reply
    • Andrey

      Alex279: You must be another Russian spy! No unauthorized personnel should ever know what ADG819BRT is – that is why it was given virtually unreadable SECRET code name in the first place!

      October 4, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Reply
      • Alex279

        Yea, right... a kind of double agent....

        Хьюстон, у нас проблема! http://nl.livejournal.com/1177407.html check out the video at very the end. Полный пиздец!

        October 5, 2012 at 12:01 am |
  3. RB

    Either this is a CIA MSM New Report, (out of "Reuters" or "Asso"CIA"Ted News Press") or I'm scratching my head (& b&lls) why this would happen?

    October 4, 2012 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  4. ck

    It's time to impose the death penalty for this like they do in Russia. Deterence

    October 4, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      You are really a confused one! hahaha.
      Death penalty is suspended in Russia indefenetely: unlike in US. And these guys are not even charged with treason because they do not have any access to state secrets. They only violated export regulations and did not have appropriate license. If you start killing people for that just be my guest: that is your country!

      October 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • MOONGOD

      which country you live?

      October 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  5. Antiquity

    this sounds like overbearing government control to me. I'd imagine he was selling radio receivers for rc toys or components to wireless home security systems without going through the right import / export channels (probably extremely expensive to some small business owner) and he got busted. I mean, the cold war is OVER and there is no reason to assume that he was an agent of or for anybody. It just goes to show if you don't give the government a pound of cash they'll settle for 50 pounds of flesh.

    October 4, 2012 at 10:39 am | Reply
    • Mort

      ...maybe.

      October 4, 2012 at 11:41 am | Reply
    • steve

      Are you really that dumb?

      October 4, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Reply
  6. Skeptic

    Here is a scenario: Russian embassy in Berlin gets someone to set up a shop in Berlin buying the above forbidden electronics and smuggle it to Russia. It doesn't buy $50 million, just $500,000. Do we trace that?

    October 4, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      It is just an export regulation – it is set there to stop honest people from doing something wrong. It never stops any greedy criminal types. So I would not get overly concerned: I remember when personal computers like BM 480 were on that list – just a thing that should be respected no doubt, but is very hard to inforce considering the size of today's world and the way how it operates these days.
      These guys should get what they deserve: likely some really heavy fines.

      October 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  7. Yusuf

    It works both ways.. if you all remember, US did the same exact thing to the Russians since the collapse of the Soviet Union by stealing military technologies of the Russians which in some areas were far superior to the Americans. Anybody remembers the spy scandal in early and middle 2000's? Russia apprehended few American spies that were stealing the Shkval missile technology, which noone has this kind of technology to date except the Russians.

    October 4, 2012 at 9:49 am | Reply
  8. Picard

    Congrats for busting the ring, it just goes to show that the Russians will never be our friends and are still trying to destroy us from within. Does anyone here think it's time to start kicking out a few Russians maybe like they did with USAID in Moscow?

    October 4, 2012 at 9:09 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      Let me know when they send their equivalent of USAID into your country: that's when it will become interesting!

      October 4, 2012 at 9:57 am | Reply
    • Yob Vashu Mat

      No, it is time for kicking out not that silly intelligence under USAID umbrella but NATO Afganistan transit.
      NATO troops at afganistan have to suffer enough before dead.

      October 4, 2012 at 10:13 am | Reply
  9. Yob Vashu Mat

    Steal what others stealed from others who stealed......before they was able to steal from you

    October 4, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
  10. hi

    Adam a what stupid comment if we are so worthless how come russia and china steal technolgy from us

    October 4, 2012 at 8:19 am | Reply
  11. Ir

    and US are complaining about Pakistan charging the doctor who aided CIA hunt Bin Laden .. hypocrisy at its best

    October 4, 2012 at 8:15 am | Reply
  12. Benedict

    Everbody steals from everbody!. It's what it's used for that raises the ire of those whose goods have expropriated!!!

    October 4, 2012 at 7:46 am | Reply
  13. Garamasala16

    what about arms and secrets stolen by israel and sold by jews?

    October 4, 2012 at 5:59 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      So they have just got smarter.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:55 am | Reply
  14. Alex

    Why the fuss, it is all made in China anyway. :)

    October 4, 2012 at 5:16 am | Reply
    • Andrey

      And is on its way to Israel. Russia is only a transit destination.

      October 4, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
  15. magneticink

    Invite Putin to a State Dinner and then issue him a subpoena.

    October 4, 2012 at 12:19 am | Reply
  16. Alex279

    One thing is always certain about Russian spies: the are always either hansom men,

    http://odnoklassniki.ru/profile/14472966619/photos

    or beautiful women,

    http://odnoklassniki.ru/profile/80248297844/photos

    with reach social connections.

    October 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Reply
    • Alex

      can't follow link to registred-only page

      October 4, 2012 at 5:19 am | Reply
  17. Amit-Atlanta-USA.

    There is a prevailing culture that has a tendency to keep the populace in the dark. I will go as far as saying the media has been an accomplice in this endeavor. I am going to quote the following that I am sure Americans have every right to know particularly those of Jewish descent and of course Israelis.

    "It is no secret that Hitler and his Nazi cronies sought inspiration from Indian extremist groups including the branding of his Nazi Party by adopting the Swastika, a traditionally Hindu symbol and representation of Hindu god Ganesha, as its marketing tool. The thesis being that like the Norwegian massacre the Jewish holocaust orchestrated by Hitler was inspired by the inherently violent cult of Indian Hindus and the manifesto of its then extremist/terrorist groups still in existence today. These groups are now the successors to and carrying out the vision of Al Qaeda all over the world albeit in a clandestine manner."

    Let me quote another instance of this disgraceful disposition:

    It is no secret that Mahatma Gandhi (Hindu leader) was a pedophile. What is very disturbing is his relationship (!) and friendship with Hitler. He is known to have offered advice and encouragement to Hitler and his Nazi Party to undertake the Jewish Holocaust."

    A few months ago an auction was being arranged in Europe of Gandhi's letters and other artifacts corroborating the foregoing. Apparently, the Indian government with assistance from expatriate Indian businessmen muscled the auctioneers and put a stop to this auction.

    October 3, 2012 at 4:21 pm | Reply
    • guest

      you are so true you failed paki!!!

      October 4, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
      • Dave

        stolen id

        October 4, 2012 at 9:24 am |
  18. Andrey

    They are greedy and have no respect for the law. That makes them very convenient. There are plenty of people like that both in US and in Russia. So in what country these materials will end up is everybody's guess: it could be even Russia who knows! Good luck with fighting the flood!

    October 3, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Reply
  19. Alex279

    ...and, as in the case of Anna Chapman two years ago, the alleged spies, especially the female ones, have been very active in Russian social network http://odnoklassniki.ru/

    ...timing is perfect thought: just one month before the elections. looks like another Obama blunder.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  20. krm1007 ©™

    In 2001 the Pakistani military entered the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) for the first time in history, and they returned home with heavy casualties, lost almost 70 percent of its army personnel. In 2010, The New America Foundation and Terror Free Tomorrow conducted the first comprehensive public opinion survey in FATA. The results showed that when it came to fighting militancy in the region, the people of FATA overwhelmingly support the Taliban. Nearly 70 percent back the Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters in the Tribal Areas. Indeed, when asked how FATA should be governed, 89 percent say it should be self-governed areas.

    It's tome to work toward a long-term viable solution for the Pakistani Terrorism issues including Haqqani Network aka shadowy Pakistani ISI operatives. Like many renowned thinkers on Pakistan suggested, it's time to split Pakistan along the FATA borders into sever self-governing agencies.

    October 3, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Reply
    • Herbie M

      What a stupid comment. I don't believe that @krm1007 has written this one as his comments are very insightful, original and brilliant. This is probably case of stolen ID. How can you have independent states of a few thousand people....the size of a neighborhood? LOL !!!

      October 3, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  21. Clinton

    Russia, China... whoever it is, they're always trying to steal American Technology.... Isn't it funny how the rest of the world says they hate us... that we're a "Great Satan" or a bully or whatever... yet ... their people want to move here... and their Governments all want technology "made in America" ...... ... On another note... we really need to step up our anti-sabotoge, anti-piracy work.. The rest of the world is stealing everything we create... In times past... some of the stuff China and Russia have done would be considered an act of war.....

    October 3, 2012 at 2:21 pm | Reply
    • I wipe my @ss with Old Glory

      In times past they would've escaped unmolested.

      October 3, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Reply
    • Adam

      The rest of worlds hates USA because there are lives only idiots and fat pigs, useful sceintists are from Europe or Asia :D

      October 4, 2012 at 7:25 am | Reply
    • Donald

      It is true.Not only Russians,Chinese,Indians but every citizen of muslim arab,african countriesbn hatesb the USA and EU.Hoever they wiill try and do their utmost to get injto those countries.This means they have ambivalent criteria which reflect a moraln disorder

      October 4, 2012 at 8:21 am | Reply
  22. John

    China has far surpassed Russia fact that they can't even pull off missions' such as this shows how far they have fallen.

    October 3, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Reply
  23. Brian Orach

    ppppppppppppp

    October 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.