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Czech Republic and Slovak Republic Nationals Charged with Violating U.S. Export Laws

Department of JusticeU.S. Attorney’s Office

District of Connecticut


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Special Agent in Charge of the DCIS Northeast Field Office, and Matthew Etre, Special Agent of HSI Boston, today announced that a federal grand jury in New Haven has returned two indictments charging citizens of the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic with offenses related to the illegal export of U.S. military equipment.
Earlier today, the grand jury returned a two-count indictment alleging that, between June 2011 and November 2011, JOSEF ZIRNSAK, 38, of the Czech Republic, shipped from the U.S. to Germany an infrared dual beam aiming laser and a rifle scope, both of which are designated as defense articles on the U.S. Munitions List.
On May 3, 2017, the grand jury returned a five-count indictment alleging that, between May 2012 and June 2012, MARTIN GULA, also known as “Mark Welder,” 38, of the Slovak Republic, purchased and attempted to arrange the export of night vision goggles and an aviator night vision system from the U.S. to the United Kingdom. The indictment also alleges that, during the same time period, GULA used a false U.S. passport as proof of residency and citizenship in the U.S.
“The U.S. Attorney’s office in Connecticut is committed to working with our federal law enforcement partners to ensure that sensitive military items manufactured in the United States do not fall into the wrong hands,” said U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly. “Willful violations of our nation’s export laws will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
“The protection of sensitive U.S. military technology is a top priority for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service,” said DCIS Special Agent in Charge Barzey. “The charges announced today demonstrate the continued commitment of DCIS and its law enforcement partners to prevent our nation’s adversaries from obtaining sensitive military technology that could pose a grave threat to America’s armed forces.”
“These sophisticated technologies are highly sought after by America’s enemies,” said HSI Special Agent in Charge Etre. “They were developed to give the United States and its allies a distinct military advantage, which is why HSI will continue to aggressively target the individuals who illegally procure and sell these items.”
ZIRNSAK and GULA are each charged with two counts of violating the Arms Export Control Act, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years on each count GULA also is charged with two counts of export smuggling and one count of use of a false passport, offenses that carry a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.
ZIRNSAK and GULA are currently being sought by law enforcement.
In January 2014, GULA was charged in the Central District of California with export related offenses. That indictment also is pending.
U.S. Attorney Daly stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Henry K. Kopel