The Russian citizen Dmitry Makarenko was arrested on the Pacific island of Saipan at the FBI’s request. He arrived there on December 29 with his children and parents, and was arrested in the airport immediately after landing, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported on Saturday, January 5.
Saipan is the largest island and capital of the Northern Mariana Islands, a US commonwealth in the Pacific Ocean. From there, Makarenko has been transferred to Florida.
The Russian Embassy to the US is attempting to gain consular access to him. The department found out about Makarenko’s arrest not from the American law enforcement authorities, but from his relatives, the Russian Foreign Ministry noted.
A warrant for Makarenko’s arrest was issued in June 2017, and he was arrested by a court in Florida on December 31, 2018. He is accused of attempting to take military technology out of the US, specifically night vision scopes for rifles, dual-purpose thermal imaging monoculars, and ammunition capsules, RIA Novosti reports, citing the court in Florida. Makarenko is charged with four felonies, and could face up to 45 years in prison.
According to the case materials, Makarenko has an American accomplice by the name of Vladimir Nevidomy. In the summer of last year, the ethnic Ukrainian was sentenced to two years and two months of prison for involvement in a collusion to illegally export military technology to Russia.
At the end of December 2018, Russia arrested the US citizen Paul Whelan on charges of espionage. Whelan is currently being held in the Lefortovo pretrial detention center in Moscow. A former Marine, he is also a citizen of Canada, the UK and Ireland.