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Firearms, Ammunition & Explosives
03/19/2013

Minnesota man pleads guilty to smuggling ammunition to Ukraine

MINNEAPOLIS — A suburban Twin Cities man pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday to smuggling ammunition from the United States to the Ukraine.

This guilty plea resulted from an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Paul Kalash, 37, of Plymouth, Minn., pleaded guilty to one count of smuggling goods from the United States. He was charged Feb. 11.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents seized numerous packages shipped by Kalash to the Ukraine between February and April 2011 containing firearm parts and a combined total of nearly 10,000 rounds of assorted ammunition.

Federal agents sent Kalash a notice of seizure, explaining that his packages were being seized and that a license was required to export ammunition. On April 3, 2011, Kalash responded and requested that the ammunition be returned to him. In his letter, he explained that he was sending the items to a friend to provide him with better-quality marksmanship competition-grade ballistics.

Following Kalash's receipt and acknowledgement of the seizure letter, on May 6, 2011, CBP seized another package sent by Kalash containing 950 rounds of assorted ammunition. In addition, Kalash admitted that he also shipped other packages to the Ukraine during this time period that were unknown to the government.

Kalash faces a potential maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.