Between The Smoking Gun and Gawker, Anna Fermanova's bound to have the most-peeked-at profile pictures page on the Facebooks in the last several hours. And after Tim Rogers made mention of the '05 Ogle School of Hair Skin and Nails grad, several Friends of Unfair Park have wondered: Why haven't we mentioned the alleged gun smuggler, otherwise known as "America's New Sexy Russian Spy"?
Well, because I've actually been trying to reach the Russian expat and had hoped before day's end that, just maybe, we'd have a chat with the 24-year-old, who's under house arrest at her folks' house here after feds accused her of exporting to Russia high-priced rifle scopes on the U.S. Munitions List. Instead we got her attorney.
She denied the charge during a brief chat with TSG (file under "false allegations"), which also reported:
When investigators confronted Fermanova, she told them that she purchased the scopes online and that they were "generation 3 night vision" devices. Asked if she was aware of regulations covering the export of such munitions, Fermanova said that she "signed something about that," but was "not really sure what she was signing."
However, there was evidence that Fermanova understood that transporting the scopes to Russia was not permitted.
Her attorney, Scott Palmer, tells Unfair Park that she's anything but a spy or a terrorist -- in fact, he says, "the government's not even saying that." He explains:
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Her husband has a friend in Russia who's "big in to hunting, and it's expensive over there -- only the rich can do it." So Anna's husband asked her -- why, we're still not sure yet -- to buy the scopes and bring them with her to Russia, where she splits her time. "And she did," Palmer says.
"Unfortunately it's illegal to take them out of the country," Palmer says. "They're on the munitions list." Her attorney acknowledges, though: With the Anna Chapman case still fresh on everyone's mind, "it's bad timing" for Fermanova.
"But it's good timing for the New York press to slander her," he says. "She's not a spy. The government's not even saying that. She's not a spy. There is no terrorism link, no espionage. It's sexier than it looks, and that's only because she's attractive."
The arraignment date in New York has not yet been set.