Late last year, agents of the FBI and NCIS raided a Houston-based company (Arc Electronics) that sold millions of dollars worth of sensitive, export controlled microelectronics to the Russian government including an unidentified research laboratory that’s part of Russia’s Federal Security Service (the FSB, which took over domestic intelligence operations from the KGB). Here’s a quick synopsis from the Houston FBI field office press release:
As alleged in the indictment, between approximately October 2008 and the present, Fishenko and the other defendants engaged in a surreptitious and systematic conspiracy to obtain advanced, technologically cutting-edge microelectronics from manufacturers and suppliers located within the United States and to export those high-tech goods to Russia, while carefully evading the government licensing system set up to control such exports. The microelectronics shipped to Russia included analog-to-digital converters, static random access memory chips, microcontrollers, and microprocessors. These commodities have applications and are frequently used in a wide range of military systems, including radar and surveillance systems, missile guidance systems, and detonation triggers. Russia does not produce many of these sophisticated goods domestically.
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