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ICE deports national security violator to Ukraine

PHILADELPHIA — A Ukrainian national convicted of conspiracy to violate the Arms Control Export Act was deported Thursday by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO).

ERO officers repatriated Volodymyr Ponomarenko, 44, via an ICE Air Operations charter flight and turned him over to authorities in Boryspil, Ukraine.

Ponomarenko was arrested March 23, 2012, for illegal transport of military grade technology while attempting to enter the United States on a non-immigrant visitor visa in Newark, N.J. According to court documents, he transported military grade rifle scopes, thermal imaging apparatus and high power rifles attachments.

Ponomarenko pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to two years in prison. On Sept. 24, an immigration judge ordered his removal from the United States.

"Unlawful export of military grade systems puts the United States and others at risk," said Thomas Decker, field office director for ERO Philadelphia. "The investigation and removal of Mr. Ponomarenko from the United States reinforces ICE's commitment to identify and remove violent criminals and egregious immigration law violators who pose the greatest threat to public safety."