The former owner of a Buffalo Grove drilling equipment distributor has been charged for illegally exporting gun parts to Ukraine over a three-year span, federal prosecutors said.
Glenn Stepul, 33, who now lives in Miami Beach Florida and previously lived in Wheeling, is facing several federal charges.
Stepul owned a Buffalo Grove business that distributed horizontal directional drilling equipment.
From 2014 to 2016, Stepul conspired with a Ukrainian resident, Andriy Yakin, and an unindicted co-conspirator in Ukraine to violate the Arms Export Control Act, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
The three allegedly either exported or attempted to export pistol slides and stainless steel gun barrels from the United States to Ukraine without obtaining the required authorization from the U.S. Department of State, according to an indictment in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
Stepul, Yakin, and the unindicted co-conspirator also conspired to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by exporting or attempting to export rifle scopes and night-vision cameras from the United States to Ukraine, without obtaining the required authorization from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the indictment states.
The charges allege that Stepul commingled and concealed some of the export-controlled items inside shipments of drilling equipment sent to Ukraine.
One such shipment was intercepted by customs officials in Lviv, Ukraine, in September 2014, the indictment states.
Stepul had completed a customs declaration falsely describing the items inside the parcel as household goods, cosmetics, toys, stationery, and cassettes, the indictment states.
The indictment charges Stepul and Yakin, 38, of Poltava, Ukraine, with conspiracy to violate the AECA and IEEPA and knowingly impede and obstruct the functions of the Commerce and State Departments.
Stepul also faces additional export-control, smuggling and false statement charges.
Stepul pleaded not guilty to all charges during his arraignment Thursday before U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey in Chicago. Judge Blakey scheduled a status hearing for December 16.
Yakin is believed to be residing in Ukraine and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.