Russian spy case 'right out of a John le Carré novel'
The FBI arrested 11 people last week in a Russian spy case, according to court documents unsealed Monday. The alleged spies were on 'long-term deep-cover assignments,' the documents say.
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The Justice Department is opposed to any bail for the individuals, the Justice Department's Mr. Boyd says.
The court papers say the accused individuals were on “long-term deep-cover assignments.”
It’s fairly clear the FBI was on to this group for some time. The FBI monitored conversations within their homes, listened to their short-wave radio broadcasts, and watched group members make secret exchanges with members of the Russian delegation.
It does not appear any of the accused individuals ever got a job in the US government that would give them access to top secret information. The court papers say they were concerned that their fake identities would be discovered in a background check. So, instead, they tried to insinuate themselves into the company of high level policymakers.
The life of an alleged spy
One of the papers details how one of the defendants, “Cynthia Murphy,” had several work-related personal meetings with a prominent New York financier who was active in fundraising and was a personal friend of an unnamed cabinet official.
Moscow Center checked out the financier and called him “a very interesting target.” The spies handlers in Moscow advised "Ms. Murphy" to “try to build up a little by little relations with him moving beyond just (work) framework. Maybe he can provide (Murphy) with remarks re US foreign policy, roumors (stet) about White House internal kitchen, invite her to venues (to major political party HQ in NYC, for instance,…etc. In short consider carefully all options in regard to (financier).”
The documents also show the stresses and strains on the individuals. In one exchange, the “Murphys” tell Moscow they would like to purchase the house where they are living in Montclair, N.J. However, the Russians want it to be owned by Moscow Center. The Murphys remind them owning a house is considered a symbol of status in the US, but they accede to Moscow’s wishes.
In another exchange, one of the alleged spies, “Juan Lazaro,” is complaining to his female companion, “Vicky Pelaez,” that Moscow does not like his information because it does not have any sources named in it. Ms. Pelaez then yells at him, “Put down any politician from here!” And, Mr. Lazaro apparently agrees, adding, “I’m going to give them what they want. But, I’m going to continue what I’m telling them.”
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