Arms dealer: Military hardware meant for hunting

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Belarus man admits he bought $700,000 worth of rifle scopes, night-vision goggles and other military hardware from a Philadelphia-based export ring — but his lawyer says he sold them to hunters, not terrorists.

The sentencing of Siarhei “Sergey” Baltutski began this month in Philadelphia. It’s on hold till Oct. 15 while the defense prepares its case.

The Justice Department says Baltutski led teams of arms dealers based in Philadelphia, Chicago and Florida. Some items were shipped in diplomatic pouches.

Prosecutors say the ring exported the same types of scopes, goggles and military hardware that have been used against U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.

However, defense lawyer Arkady Bukh argues that the government has never matched up serial numbers from his client’s sales to an enemy combat operation. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language, racial slurs or consistent name calling will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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