If found guilty, the accused, Andrey Shevlyakov, could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison.
An individual named Andrey Shevlyakov, who holds Estonian citizenship, has been taken into custody on March 28th, 2023, in Estonia, accused of conspiracy and other offences related to his efforts to obtain U.S.-made electronics for the Russian government and military.
Shevlyakov had been on the Department of Commerce’s Entity List since 2012, which designates individuals and companies barred from exporting items from the United States without a license.
Despite being on the list, Shevlyakov was able to run an intricate logistics operation involving frequent smuggling trips across the Russian border using front companies and false names to evade restrictions.
Shevlyakov obtained delicate electronic equipment from American manufacturers for the use of Russian end-users, such as defence contractors and other government agencies. If these items were ordered directly for delivery to Russia, they would have been inaccessible to Russian end-users.
The items that Shevlyakov purchased included low-noise pre-scalers and synthesizers used to conduct high-frequency communications and analogue-to-digital converters found in most defence systems that must respond to environmental conditions, including software-defined radio, avionics, missiles, and electronic warfare systems.
During his communications with customers based in Russia, he discussed whether certain orders contained “military” goods. In addition, he tried to obtain computer hacking tools, such as a licensed version of Metasploit Pro, which is an American-made software tool used to penetrate computer networks. Although Metasploit is primarily designed to assess network vulnerabilities, it is also commonly used by hackers.
According to the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) press release, the accusations made in the indictment and other legal documents, Shevlyakov’s intricate and deceptive methods enabled him to obtain highly sensitive electronics made in America for the Russian military. His unlawful actions in obtaining advanced U.S. technology endangered the lives of both U.S. and Ukrainian citizens.
FBI Houston Special Agent in Charge James Smith said, “FBI Houston will continue to work with our valued international partners, especially the Estonian Internal Security Service (KAPO), to investigate and disrupt actors who illicitly support the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine by Russian armed forces.”
If found guilty, the accused could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison. The National Security and Cybercrime Section of the Office is overseeing the government’s case against the defendant.