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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit
08/24/2011

Maryland man sentenced for illegally exporting night vision equipment

GREENBELT, Md. — A Maryland man was sentenced to eight months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for unlawfully exporting export-controlled night vision equipment. The sentence is the result of an extensive investigation led by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations-led (HSI) Counter-Proliferation Investigations Task Force.

Connor Kraegel, 20, of Poolesville, Md., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein, District of Maryland; and Special Agent in Charge William Winter of ICE HSI in Baltimore.

According to his guilty plea, Kraegel stole export-controlled night vision equipment from the Yellowstone National Park and also obtained other controlled items, which he then sold on eBay.

On March 2, 2009, Kraegel communicated with a prospective purchaser stating that it would be a violation of federal regulations to ship AN/AVS-6 goggles outside the United States. The AN/AVS-6 is a set of night vision goggles designed to enable military rotary wing aviators to conduct night operations and is mounted directly on the pilot's helmet. From April 10 to Nov. 21, 2009, Kraegel received five payments totaling $13,883.60 for four shipments of AN/AVS-6 goggles to conspirators in Norway, Denmark and Germany.

On Dec. 16, 2009, Kraegel received $2,850 for shipment of an export-controlled AN/PVS-18 monocular, a night vision system which can be mounted on a helmet or on a weapon, to a conspirator in Germany.

Upon receipt of these payments, Kraegel shipped those items to persons located outside of the United States. Kraegel neither sought nor obtained the required federal licenses before exporting the items from the United States.

U.S. Attorney Rosenstein commended the Counter-Proliferation Investigations Task Force, which includes: HSI; FBI; Department of Commerce; Defense Criminal Investigative Service; Naval Criminal Investigative Service; Defense Security Service; and the Army 902nd Military Intelligence Group, for its work in the investigation.

Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Welsh who prosecuted the case.