Anna Fermanova detained for alleged weapons smuggling

An Army soldier uses a night vision scope while in the field. Released by the DoD.

Anna Chapman is old news, America; there’s a new Russian spy around, with Latvian origins. Anna Fermanova, a 24-year-old native of Latvia, has captivated Facebook fans and allegedly stolen military-grade hardware. The New York Daily News writes that Fermanova allegedly tried to bring a Raptor 4X Night Vision Weapons sight to Moscow illegally, supposedly for her husband to use while hunting. The blonde import was arrested July 15 at her parents’ home near Dallas after returning from her most recent Moscow trip.

It ‘looks a lot worse than it really is,’ claims Anna Fermanova’s lawyer

Scott Palmer, who is Anna Fermanova’s attorney, attempted to assuage critics, stating that “She’s a nice Jewish girl who lives with her sweet Latvian parents. There’s no terrorism link. There’s no espionage.” However, an informant whose identity has not been revealed reportedly tipped immigration off about Fermanova’s smuggling. Federal authorities who stopped Fermanova at Kennedy Airport before she boarded her flight for Moscow found a $ 7,000 Raptor 4X Night Vision Weapons Sight and two other sights worth $ 4,000 apiece.

According to reports, Fermanova told authorities she’d purchased the scopes online for her husband’s hunting party in Russia. Authorities questioned whether she knew it was illegal to leave the country with military grade hardware without a proper exporter’s license, and Fermanova responded that she’d filled out some paperwork, but she was unsure of its purpose. Clearly, it wasn’t an exporter’s license.

She admits to blacking out the serial numbers

Fermanova admitted to officials that she’d obscured the serial numbers on the scopes intentionally. Federal agents found her explanation and the act itself rather suspicious. Ultimately, the scopes were confiscated and she was allowed to fly to Moscow, but once she returned, her passport was seized and Anna Fermanova was taken into custody. The charge was “knowingly and intentionally attempting to export defense articles on the United States Munitions list.” According to the Daily News, that offense comes with a 10-year prison sentence if Fermanova is convicted. Currently, she resides in her parents’ home while under house arrest, after posting $50,000 bail.

Once a check forger

Seven years ago, Anna Fermanova was placed under arrest for a $76 check forgery. The one-time cosmetology student and English language instructor was fined for the offense and served three years of probation. Speaking of beauty school, Fermanova’s Facebook popularity was largely built off photographs taken during her time in cosmetology. The notice her photographs garnered was quite similar to what Anna Chapman experienced with her own provocative photographs.


NY Daily News