Published On: Tue, Jan 27th, 2015

FBI busts Russian spy ring in New York: Evgeny Buryakov detained

US prosecutors say Evgeny Buryakov, 39, was part of an alleged Russian spy ring that included two others as others were identified.

The other two named defendants, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy, but they no longer reside in the US. Buryakov, who worked at Russian bank in Manhattan, appeared in court Monday afternoon.

Buryakov reportedly was attempting to gain intelligence about potential United States sanctions against Russian banks and the US efforts to develop alternative energy resources.

photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

photo donkeyhotey donkeyhotey.wordpress.com

Buryakov also allegedly recruited Americans to spy for Russia, including several people “employed by major companies” and “several young women with ties to a major university in New York.”

Sporyshev and Podobnyy, who held official positions as representatives of the Russian government in the US, were accused of working with Buryakov since 2012 in passing on information and developing other recruits.

They used tickets and other everyday objects — like books, umbrellas and hats — as part of their code. When they did meet, on dozens of occasions between early 2012 and late 2014, it was usually outdoors in order to lower the risk of surveillance.

At the short meetings, one man would hand a bag, a magazine or a slip of paper to another.

Agents like this, known as “NOCs,” (non-official covers) generally receive “less scrutiny by the host government, and, in many cases, are never identified as intelligence agents by the host government,” a statement from U.S. law enforcement authorities said.

“As a result, a NOC is an extremely valuable intelligence asset for the SVR,” the statement said.

The two men also chatted about the 2010 unmasking of a Russian spy ring in the United States.

In that case, 11 intelligence personnel, living and working in the U.S. as “sleeper” agents, were arrested and later allowed to return to Moscow as part of a spy swap.

According to the complaint, Podobnyy suggested those agents “couldn’t do anything.”

“They studied some people, worked out some exits, but they didn’t get any materials,” he said.

The FBI investigation into Buryakov, Sporyshev and Podobnyy began “within a few months” of the guilty pleas in the 2010 case, according to the FBI.

The investigation was an offshoot of a 2010 case that ended with the arrest and deportation of 10 “deep cover” agents in a spy swap with Russia.

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

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About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at theglobaldispatch@gmail ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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