The Justice Department on Monday charged three suspected Russian spies, accused of being part of a ring attempting to collect economic intelligence and recruiting New York City residents for intelligence purposes, SIA reports citing the AA.
Charges ware announced against Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Viktor Podobnyy in connection with Buryakov's service as a covert intelligence agent on behalf of Russia in New York, the Justice Department said in a statement.
Buryakov was arrested in the Bronx, New York, and is scheduled to make a court appearance in Manhattan later Monday, said the statement.
The two other suspects were not arrested, however, as they no longer reside in the U.S. and were protected by diplomatic immunity from arrest and prosecution.
According to the complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court, Buryakov worked in the U.S. as an agent of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, known as the SVR.
He operated under “non-official cover,” meaning he entered and remained in the U.S. as a private citizen, posing as an employee in the Manhattan office of a Russian bank.
Sporyshev and Podobnyy were also SVR agents who worked in the U.S. "posing as official representatives of Russia," the statement said.
It noted that the two officials gathered intelligence as well as attempted to recruit New York City residents as intelligence sources for Russia; tasking Buryakov with gathering intelligence and transmitting reports to SVR headquarters in Moscow.
If convicted, the suspects face sentences of five to 10 years.