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International arms smuggler sentenced to 15 years in prison

Dec. 20, 2013 at 12:18 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- An international arms smuggler was sentenced to 15 years in prison for illegally buying and selling high-tech military gear, the U.S. Justice Department said.

Siarhei Baltutski, also known as Sergey Boltutskiy, 41, of Minsk, Belarus, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act, conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and conspiracy to commit money laundering, the department said Thursday in a release.

The Justice Department said Baltutski organized a network of U.S. buyers to obtain and illegally export to Belarus high-tech military hardware such night vision targeting devices between Jan. 1, 2008, and Sept. 21, 2011. Baltutski and his associates illegally exported hundreds of these items and then Baltutski arranged for hundreds of thousands of dollars to be secretly wired for buying and shipping the items and to pay his network of buyers.

Baltutski pleaded guilty in January. Besides the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Paul S. Diamond of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ordered Baltutski to serve three years of probation.

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