Anna Fermanova Released From House Arrest, Still Faces Smuggling Charge in NY

Good-bye Anna Chapman, hello Anna Fermanova. Fermanova, 24, is the newest bombshell targeted by federal authorities. She is accused of attempting to smuggle high-tech night vision scopes from the United States to Russia.
Personal Photo
Anna Fermanova (Personal Photo)

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Anna Fermanova, the woman quickly dubbed Russia's newest bombshell spy by tabloids, has been released from house arrest in Texas and could get a plea deal on charges she tried to smuggle high-tech rifle sights to Moscow.

PICTURES: Anna Fermanova Accused of Smuggling

At a brief appearance Monday in federal court in Brooklyn, attorneys on both sides indicated that a possible deal was in the works for the 24-year-old.

Prosecutors say 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 and 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 charge 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 are no allegations of spying.

 Fermanova's attorney, Scott Palmer, disputes the comparisons of his client to "Sexy Spy" Chapman, saying his client is neither a spy, nor Russian, according to CBS affiliate KTVT.

Palmer believes her arrest has been blown out of proportion, largely because it occurred so close to the arrest and deportation of the members of an actual Russian spy ring.

Regarding the media blitz Palmer says Fermanova has "laughed it off."

Complete Crimesider Coverage of Anna Fermanova