PLANO, TEXAS—Anna Fermanova, 24, arrived back in the U.S. on July 1st and just 15 days later a warrant for her arrest was issued.
But it all started when she was trying to fly out of New York City with some restricted items.
"It's kinda shocking. I mean we live 3 houses down. It's a little unnerving I guess," said neighbors Elizabeth & Allen Aven.
Fermanova is facing federal charges for attempting to export night vision scopes from JFK airport to Moscow, Russia back on March 1.
Court documents says the items were found inside her luggage by ICE agents. It's illegal to carry them outside the country without a license.
Neighbors on her quiet Plano street described Fermanova, who is a U.S. citizen, as an all-American girl.
"I think she's probably in college studying to be a professional. She looks very nice. Very well dressed," said neighbor Jody Fouche.
"She's young, attractive, she seems to have boyfriends periodically," said Allen Aven.
Fermanova's arrest comes after 28-year-old Anna Chapman pleaded guilty in New York to charges of being a Russian spy. Fermanova's attorney says that's not the case here.
"There is no connection to spying. She's not a spy and she's not Russian. She's Latvian," said Fermanova's Attorney Scott Palmer.
Still, court documents say Fermanova admitted to concealing the scopes so she could export them from the U.S.. She also claimed she was taking them to her husband who lived in Russia. Neighbors say she's lived in the house with her parents since she was in high school, but recently moved out and her parents told them she had moved to Russia.
They say the news is concerning. " I guess I just worry about retaliation, not towards us, but towards that house and being so close to it," said Elizabeth Aven. "I just think that it's surprising you never know what's behind people's closed doors," said Fouche.
Her attorney says Fermanova, who is Jewish, came to the U.S. as a religious refugee with her family. He says she graduated from high school in Richardson and loves the United States. He insists her case involves no terrorism, no espionage - no spying. Her bond was set at $50,000.