HOUSTON – An immigrant from Kazakhstan who U.S. authorities say is at the center of a scheme that illicitly funneled cutting-edge microelectronics to Russia apparently tried to keep a low profile.
Alexande Fishenko's neighbors say he didn't mingle with others on his block. Leaders in Houston's Russian community say they had never heard of him before his arrest.
U.S. authorities say Fishenko ran a Houston-based company that obtained highly regulated technology from U.S. makers. They say he clandestinely exported it to Russia for use by that country's military and intelligence agencies.
Fishenko and six others arrested this week made their initial appearances in Houston federal court Thursday. An eighth defendant appeared in court Wednesday.
Hearings to determine whether Fishenko and the other defendants will be granted bail are scheduled to start Friday.