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Counter Proliferation Investigation Unit

International arms smuggler sentenced to 15 years

WASHINGTON — A Belarusian man was sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison for conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and money laundering, following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Siarhei Baltutski, aka Sergey Boltutskiy, 41, must also pay a $3,000 fine, $300 special assessment and serve three years of supervised release.

"The sophisticated technology illegally exported in this investigation is dangerous when placed in the wrong hands, and can reduce the advantages our military and law enforcement officers currently possess," said John P. Kelleghan, special agent in charge of HSI Philadelphia. "HSI will pursue those who are willing to put America's national security at risk and is committed to continuing to lead the fight in counter proliferation investigations."

Baltutski pleaded guilty to the charges Jan. 25. Case records show between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sep. 21, 2011, Baltutski organized a network of buyers in the United States to obtain and illegally export high-tech military hardware such as Scorpion Thermal Weapon Sights, ThOR 2 Thermal Imaging Scopes, Thermal-Eye Renegade 320's and other night vision targeting devices.

Baltutski then arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be secretly wired, via offshore shell companies for purchasing, payment, shipping and compensation for his network of buyers.

The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Jerome Maiatico with the Department of Justice's Organized Crime and Gang Section, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Livermore of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, with assistance from Trial Attorney David Recker of the National Security Division's Counterespionage Section.