By Brendan Pierson
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two Russian nationals arrested in the United States last October on charges of conspiring to export sensitive military technology from the United States to Russia were sentenced to time served on Friday, a spokesman for U.S. prosecutors said.
Dmitrii Aleksandrovich Karpenko, 33, and Alexey Krutilin, 27, both pleaded guilty on March 8 and were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Leo Glasser in Brooklyn. They have agreed to immediate deportation to Russia, where both live, the spokesman said.
U.S. prosecutors said the men planned to obtain microelectronics from manufacturers and suppliers in the United States and export them to Russia while evading government controls on high-tech exports.
The technology at issue included devices used in radar and missile guidance systems, prosecutors said. The United States restricts the export of items it believes could contribute to weapons proliferation and undermine U.S. national security.
Karpenko and Krutilin were arrested in Denver on Oct. 5 in a sting operation arranged by U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents posing as sellers, according to court filings.
In briefs filed in the Brooklyn court, lawyers for Karpenko and Krutilin said while the two men knew the purpose of their trip was illegal, they had been sent by their employer, a Russian company called Aelek, and did not plan the purchases themselves.
"We're grateful that Judge Glasser recognised the limited role that Mr. Karpenko and Mr. Krutilin played in the conspiracy," said Richard Levitt, a lawyer for Karpenko.
Raymond Granger, a lawyer for Krutilin, said his client was "extremely gratified" by the decision.
Prosecutors said last October that Karpenko and Krutilin conspired with Alexey Barysheff, a U.S. citizen living in Brooklyn who was also arrested. Prosecutors say Barysheff set up front companies to buy and export electronics.
Barysheff also has pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on June 17, court records show.
(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Bill Trott)