Wednesday, July 28, 2010
'Nice Jewish girl' Anna Fermanova busted for trying to smuggle night-vision scopes to Russia
Russia's newest export is sexy bad girls named Anna.
Hot on the stiletto heels of sultry spy Anna Chapman comes Anna Fermanova, busted for trying to smuggle night-vision scopes to Moscow.
And just like redheaded double agent Chapman, foxy Fermanova left a trail of very revealing photos of herself on Facebook.
Fermanova, who was born in Latvia, was arrested at her home near Dallas on July 15 after returning from a four-month trip to Moscow - where her husband lives, court papers say.
Her lawyer told the Daily News the case "looks a lot worse than it really is."
"She's a nice Jewish girl who lives with her sweet Latvian parents," said Scott Palmer, a Dallas criminal defense attorney.
"There's no terrorism link. There's no espionage."
But court documents make Fermanova sound like quite the femme fatale.
They say a confidential informant tipped off federal immigration agents in February that Fermanova was in the market for weapons accessories.
Agents stopped her a month later at Kennedy Airport when she checked in for a Moscow-bound flight.
They found a $7,000 Raptor 4X Night Vision Weapons Sight in the blond bombshell's suitcase, along with two other night-vision devices worth $4,000 each, records say.
Fermanova told the agents she bought the scopes online for her husband's hunting buddies in Russia.
Asked if she knew taking them out of the country was illegal, she said she "signed something about that" but was "not really sure what she was signing," the papers say.
She admitted removing identifying marks from the scopes and blacking out serial numbers with a marker "so they would be less noticeable," court records show.
Agents confiscated the scopes but allowed her to fly to Moscow - then arrested her when she returned to U.S. soil this month.
Fermanova was charged with "knowingly and intentionally" attempting to export "defense articles on the United States Munitions list" - charges that carry 10 years in prison.
Her passport was seized and she was put under house arrest after posting $50,000 bond.
Her lawyer said she's going "stir-crazy" at her parents' home in Plano - a two-story brick house in a middle-class subdivision where the family refused to answer the door yesterday.
She is expected in Brooklyn Federal Court later this summer.
"She bought them legally. They are available for purchase on the Internet, you just need a license to export them," Palmer said.
"They were for her husband's buddies who are hunters in Russia," he said. "They were basically buying something in the U.S. that's available in Russia but is extremely expensive."
The former cosmetology student and English teacher is studying communications at the University of Phoenix, Palmer said. She emigrated with her parents from Latvia as a baby and is now a U.S. citizen.
She was arrested in 2003 for forging a $76 check, fined and given three years of probation, according to court records.
The suspected smuggler is described in court papers as 5-foot-6, 135 pounds, with a belly-button piercing.
Her Facebook page is bursting with pictures that show she was paying attention in beauty school.
She has been seen dressed up as a sexy pirate, showing off her bikini body at the beach, and cradling glasses of white wine with girlfriends.
Her activities and interests include loving, partying, smiling, hair and "generally being happy," according to Facebook.