Suburban businessman illegally exported gun parts to Ukraine in shipments labeled 'toys': feds

The former owner of a Buffalo Grove drilling-equipment company allegedly exported rifle barrels and other gun parts to the Ukraine against U.S. law over a three-year period.

Glen Stepul, 33, formerly of Wheeling, hid the gun parts in shipments declared as “household goods,” “cosmetics,” “toys,” “stationary,” and “cassettes,” according to an indictment by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Illinois.

The feds also charged Ukrainian resident Andriy Yakin, 38, in the scheme to export pistol slides, gun barrels, scopes and night-vision cameras from the United States to Ukraine between 2014 and 2016, according to the indictment.

Some of the exports were allegedly hidden in shipments of drilling equipment sent to Ukraine, the charges state. One of the shipments was intercepted by customs officials in Lviv, Ukraine, in September 2014, prosecutors said.

Stepul, currently of Miami Beach, Florida, pleaded not guilty Thursday to a charges of violating the Arms Export Control Act and other export-control, smuggling and false statement charges. He is expected to appear in court again Dec. 16.

Yakin, believed to be in the Ukraine, has a warrant issued for his arrest.