New York business owner arrested for shipping electronics to Russia

Alexander Fishenko 
By: Eva Fett 

A man was arrested and charged as a secret agent for shipping electronics to Russia, according to reports.

A businessman of Soviet Russia origin, has been indicted in Brooklyn, New York, as a Russian secret agent, accused of using his Houston-based company for smuggling sensitive technology from JFK to military and intelligence agencies in Russia, officials said this week.

Alexander Fishenko, executive director of Arc Electronics, said his company was making stoplights. However, federal prosecutors said that the company was actually a tool in Russia's plans to modernize its armed forces.

Fishenko and 10 other people, who were involved in the business, are named in an indictment unsealed this week in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

He was arrested at George Bush International Airport before boarding a flight for a trip to Singapore and Moscow, officials said.

Three defendants are believed to be in Russia, and the rest are set to be arraigned in Houston.

Fishenko, 46, is accused of illegally exporting high-tech devices that could be used for missile guidance systems, radar, surveillance and trigger detonation, according to court documents.

Federal prosecutors Daniel Silver and Hilary Jager said that Fishenko was "acting as an agent of the Russian government."

Fishenko had no U.S. Commerce Department license, which is required to export microelectronics.

Fishenko was born in the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan, and graduated from a technical institute in St. Petersburg before coming to the United States in 1994.

He became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. in 2003, according to court documents.

"The communications intercepted during the investigation revealed that much of the technology exported by the defendants were intended to Russian military and intelligence agencies," prosecutors wrote in documents.

The case was filed in the Eastern District of New York, because the products were sent from JFK Airport in Queens, New York.

"The defendants spun an elaborate web of lies to evade the laws that protect our national security," Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said.

The defendants will likely appear in Brooklyn for arraignment next week.