Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Federal authorities have arrested and charged a Russian man with arms trafficking for sending illegal firearm parts and accessories from the United States to Russia, prosecutors said in announcing the indictment.
The U.S. Justice Department charged Vladimir Kuznetsov with exporting, attempting to export and conspiracy in a 16-page indictment unsealed Tuesday.
Authorities say Kuznetsov, 58, smuggled the parts by hiding them in packages for clothing, tools and medical devices, prosecutors said.
"Today's arrest demonstrates our resolve to investigate and prosecute those who illegally export restricted items without regard for their end use, placing their own enrichment above our country's interests," U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue said in a statement.
Several U.S. agencies cooperated in the investigation, officials said, which revealed Kuznetsov placed false labels and descriptions on the packages to get around customs. The complaint says one parcel, seized at New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport, contained an H-S Precision rifle stock beneath a router table, but only the router table was labeled in the description. Another contained a Savage 180-Alpha rifle chassis and 5-round magazines.
"Kuznetsov is alleged to have illegally exported firearm parts to Russia, including parts to assemble rifles by methodically mislabeling packages and concealing the parts," said Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge Peter Fitzhugh.
The Russian consulate in New York said it wasn't notified ahead of Kuznetsov's arrest.