Texas woman, accused of smuggling rifle sights to Russia, could get NY plea deal

A woman who's drawn comparisons to a Russian secret agent with the same first name could get a plea deal on charges she tried to smuggle high-tech rifle sights to Moscow.

At a brief appearance Monday in federal court in Brooklyn, attorneys on both sides indicated that a possible deal was in the works for Anna Fermanova.

Prosecutors say the 24-year-old Fermanova was caught at New York's Kennedy airport in March with the sights stashed in her luggage. Her attorney, Scott Palmer, told reporters Monday that she bought the sights for her father-in-law to use at a Moscow gun club.

Fermanova, who was born in Latvia and grew up in Texas, had been under house arrest at her parents' home in Plano. A judge loosened the bail conditions on Monday to allow her to travel between Texas to New York for her case.

News reports and websites have compared Fermanova to another Anna — admitted Russian secret agent Anna Chapman.

Chapman, 28, was among suspects who pleaded guilty last month in New York to a charges they were part of a headline-grabbing spy ring. She was sent back to Russian as part of a spy swap.

Thanks to photos and information gleaned from social-networking sites, Chapman became a tabloid sensation. Fermanova has gotten the same treatment, even though there's no allegations of spying.

Fermanova has "laughed it off," her attorney said when asked about the publicity.