ITHACA, N.Y. – An Ithaca man was sentenced in Tompkins County Court on Wednesday afternoon, following his arrest in March when he unlawfully entered his wife’s home in Dryden with a fake firearm.

Alexandre Pougatchev, 59, was arrested on March 1 after he unlawfully entered his wife’s home around 6 a.m. His wife, Irina Pougatcheva, said she was sleeping just before the burglary when she let her dogs out and they began barking. Pougacheva then reportedly asked her housemate and tenant, Ruslan Koruniak, to check on the dogs.

According to Koruniak, he entered the living room to find a man standing approximately 6 feet away with a gun pointed at his head. Koruniak said immediately identified the man as Pougatchev, who he knew to be his housemate’s husband. At this time, Koruniak said he saw Pougatchev pull the trigger three times, which he heard click.

Pougatcheva, who had a previous order of protection against her husband, called the police upon seeing him, and then returned to the living room to find the two men in a physical altercation, she reported.

The defendant allegedly struck Koruniak in the face with the handgun during the fight, but Koruniak was able to pin Pougatchev down upon the arrival of law enforcement.

Court documents later stated that Pougatchev’s handgun was actually proven to be an imitation pistol. Assistant District Attorney Alyxandra Stanczak, the prosecutor for the case, said the fake pistol appeared convincingly real.admitted he took a toy gun,” she said. “Your honor, I was able to hold the gun and it has the

“The defendant admitted he took a toy gun,” she said. “Your honor, I was able to hold the gun and it has the same heft and weight as a real revolver.”

Stanczak said she thought one of the most troubling things about the case was her belief that Pougatchev felt justified in his actions.

“He believes (Koruniak) destroyed his family,” she said. “The victim was not involved with his wife in any way – they were just roommates.”

Pougatchev, who pleaded guilty to second-degree burglary in July, was represented by Attorney Kevin Kelly. Kelly said it was likely that the defendant would be transferred to a maximum security prison and possibly followed by deportation.

Pougatchev was sentenced to a 5-year sentence with a 5-year post-release period.

Judge John C. Rowley said, “I think this is a fair outcome of an ugly situation which you bear the sole responsibility for.”

Alyvia Covert

Alyvia is a Crime Reporter with The Ithaca Voice. She graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Journalism and Photography.