US Deport Latest Alleged Russian Spy

World | July 14, 2010, Wednesday // 13:02|  views

In this court artist's drawing, three lawyers for suspected Russian spies Michael Zottoli (2-L in green), and Patricia Mills (3-L in green) appear before Magistrate Judge Theresa Buchanan (R) in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia, USA. BGNES

A 12th person has been detained by the US federal authorities in their investigation of a Russian spy ring in the country, the Washington Post reports Wednesday.

The article cites US law enforcement officials saying the man has been deported to Russia. The Russian citizen, who is in his early-to-mid-20s, had been held on immigration violations because there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge him with a crime, according to US government officials. He admitted he was illegally present in the country and agreed to the deportation instead of further court proceedings.

The alleged spy, identified as Alexey Karetnikov, entered the United States in October 2009. He was living in the Seattle area, where he worked at Microsoft, federal officials and the company reported.

The Post database searches show that someone with Karetnikov's name had been living in an apartment in Redmond, Washington, since October. The smae man's Facebook page says he worked for Microsoft and a Romanian-based software company called Neobit. A Microsoft spokesman confirmed that Karetnikov had worked at the company for about nine months as a software tester, and he is the man whom authorities deported on Tuesday but would not comment further.

10 people were arrested in the US on June 27 and charged with working undercover Russian spies. They all pleaded guilty last Thursday to acting as unregistered agents for Russia and were then "swapped" for four Russian prisoners in a deal reminiscent of the Cold War. Russian news media reported that they have applied to a witness-protection program, are seeking to change their names while being debriefed at a Russian intelligence facility on the outskirts of Moscow. They are not allowed to leave the premises, but family members are allowed to visit.

An 11th man charged in federal court in New York remains at large.

According to law enforcement officials Karetnikov was not part of the same ring and had no direct ties to the other spies, although his name came up in the broader investigation.

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Tags: russian spies, espionage, Russia, spies, USA, CIA, Alexey Karetnikov


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