U.S. authorities have charged 18 people with weapons trafficking, including an alleged scheme to smuggle grenade launchers, shoulder-fired missiles and other Russian military weapons into the country.
The arrests resulted from a year-long wiretap investigation that used a confidential informant posing as an arms trafficker selling weapons to terrorists, the office of U.S. Attorney David N. Kelley said Tuesday.
Kelley said in a statement that the defendants also are charged in a criminal complaint with conspiring to traffic in machine guns and other assault weapons, and with selling eight such weapons during the investigation.
Kelley's office said details of the investigation were to be discussed at news conference in a few hours with officials from the FBI and the New York Police Department.
The head of the Voronezh region, Alexander Gusev, confirmed the death of Major General Vladimir Zavadsky.