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December 23, 2019Philadelphia, PA, United StatesEnforcement and Removal

ICE arrests and removes Argentinian national on attempted weapons trafficking

PHILADELPHIA — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) removed Sergio Leonardo Ruchtein Dec. 18, to his home country of Argentina where local authorities took him into custody.

Ruchtein entered the United States on March 20, 2019 through Miami, Florida as a nonimmigrant.

Ruchtein purchased a Pulsar Trail XP 50 LRF Thermal Rifle Scope online and attempted to smuggle the device back to his native Argentina.

This particular night vision scope is a defense article on the United States Munitions List and subject to the Department of State’s International Traffic in Arms Regulations. An export license is required before this type of article can be shipped or transported out of the U.S.

“This thermal scope requires specialized licensing to purchase and own,” said ICE Philadelphia Field Office Director Simona Flores-Lund. “This individual illegally purchased this scope in the U.S. in a clear attempt to bring it back to Argentina. This is a prime example of violating U.S. laws and will not be tolerated.”

On March 25, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested Ruchtein and charged him with attempted export of a defense article without a license. On Oct. 29, 2019, Ruchtein was convicted by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and sentenced to time served plus two years of supervised release.

On Oct. 23, 2019, ERO Philadelphia lodged an immigration detainer with the U.S. Bureau of Prisons Federal Detention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On Nov. 21, 2019, an Immigration Judge in York, PA ordered Ruchtein removed to Argentina.