Mark Komoroski, co-owner of D&R Sports Center on Fairchild Street, and Sergey Korznikov, a Russian national and principal of Tactica Ltd. in Moscow, were arrested Monday.
The men are charged with conspiring to export military equipment, including rifle scopes, magazines for guns, and face shields from the U.S. to Russia “to be resold to unknown persons,” according to a press release.
There were no firearms involved. Komoroski said he has shipped guns to other places in Russia, but never to Korznikov’s business, Tactica Ltd., which does not have an import license for firearms.
The release incorrectly identifies Komoroski as a Russian national.
“I was born and raised in Nanticoke. I’ve been to Russia one time to visit. That was it,” Komoroski said.
Heidi Havens, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District, confirmed the two men were arrested but not indicted.
Komoroski was freed on $50,000 bail Monday. Korznikov was released from prison on $150,000 bail Thursday, Komoroski said.
Federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney’s office, have been tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation, refusing to comment.
Other agencies participating in the investigation are the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Unit; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
All papers pertaining to the case are sealed, Havens said
“They jumped the gun because Sergey was staying in the United States,” Komoroski said.
Korznikov is vacationing in the U.S. with his family, Komoroski said. He said the Korznikovs stayed in New York City over Christmas, then came to spend a day with the Komoroski family after the holiday. The Korznikovs were finishing their vacation at a Poconos resort, the Great Wolf Lodge in Monroe County, at the time of his arrest.
“It was just not fair, coming in from a family vacation,” Komoroski said. “They took a good person — an innocent person — a good human being with a good family, and turned him into nothing more than a villain.”
Tactica Ltd. sells brand-name hunting equipment, such as range finders, night vision equipment, binoculars and clothing.
Komoroski said he has obtained required licenses for everything he ships. A sampling of his export licenses from the U.S. Department of Commerce show he was cleared to send items, including ballistic face shields, helmets and optical scopes for rifles to Tactica Ltd.
All manufacturers of defense articles, as well as exporters of the items, have to register with the Department of State, said Pat Peterson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Bureau of Political and Military Affairs. Once registered, they can get permanent or temporary export licenses.
To obtain a license, there are five different types of forms to fill out, Department of State spokeswoman Nicole Thompson said. These are submitted to the State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.
The forms are reviewed, and, “either you are granted a license or not, and from there you are able to export weapons under the parameters of the license you are granted,” Thompson said.
The Department of Commerce Bureau of Industry and Security issues export licenses for items not designed for military use, such as certain kinds of hunting equipment.
But anything listed under Category One of the United States Munitions List must go through the U.S. Department of State Political-Military Affairs bureau of the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Peterson said.
The list includes non-automatic, semi-automatic and automatic firearms to .50 caliber inclusive, combat shotguns, rifle scopes manufactured to military specifications and silencers.
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