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When Mexico Sends Its People, They’re Not Sending Their Best. They’re Bringing Their Best Spies!

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Mexican national arrested in Florida on accusation of spying for Russia


Federal authorities have arrested a Mexican citizen on charges that he collected information about a U.S. government informant on behalf of Russia.


Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, 34, first aroused suspicion on Friday when he followed another vehicle into the Miami-area condominium complex where the informant lived, according to a newly unsealed federal complaint. As a security guard approached Fuentes’s rental car, his wife got out of the vehicle and took a picture of the informant’s license plate.


U.S. prosecutors claim he was carrying out orders from a Russian official who had recruited him with promises of helping his family. A Singapore resident and researcher at the country’s National Heart Center, Fuentes made several trips to Moscow to meet with the official, who directed him to rent a specific property in Miami-Dade County and report back to Russia the license plate and location of the informant’s car.


“The Russian official told Fuentes not to rent the apartment in Fuentes’s own name and not to tell his family about their meetings,” a Justice Department news release said.


Court records in the case, which was first reported by the Miami Herald, were filed under seal Tuesday and unsealed Wednesday. The complaint identifies the target of Fuentes’s surveillance as a confidential informant “who previously provided information regarding [Russian Intelligence Service] activities” that had national security implications for the U.S.


During an interview with FBI agents on Monday, according to the complaint, Fuentes described having repeated contact with a person he believed worked for the Russian government. He said that in addition to the wife who was traveling with him in Miami, he had a Russian wife who had been prevented from leaving Russia with her two daughters since March.


Fuentes told the FBI agents that he was contacted by the Russian official in May, while visiting his family in Russia. The official asked for a meeting in Moscow, saying that he had met Fuentes during previous professional meetings and exchanges. Fuentes agreed, and recognized the official from their past encounters. The official told him his family "should not go to Europe or obtain U.S. visas,” the complaint said. That comment, and the exchanges that followed, led Fuentes to believe the man worked for the government.




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