US arrests Mexican man for spying for Russia in mystery case involving informant

FBI MiamiThe United States Federal Bureau of Investigation has arrested a Mexican man, who is accused of spying in the city of Miami on behalf of the Russian government. Local media reports suggest that the target of the man’s spying was a Russian defector who gave American authorities information about Russian espionage activities on US soil.

In a news release issued on Tuesday, the US Department of Justice identified the man as Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, a Mexican citizen residing in Singapore. The statement said that Fuentes was arrested on Monday and was charged with “conspiracy” and “acting within the United States on behalf of a foreign government”.

According to the statement, Fuentes was recruited in April of 2019 by an unnamed Russian government official. His first assignment was to rent an apartment in Miami-Dade County using fake identification. One he carried out the assignment, Fuentes allegedly traveled to Russia, where he briefed his handler. He was then asked to return to Miami and drive to an apartment complex, where he was to observe a vehicle belonging to an individual that the Department of Justice statement describes as a “US government source”. Fuentes was tasked with providing his Russian handler with the vehicle’s license plate number.

Having been given a detailed physical description of the vehicle by his Russian handler, Fuentes drove to the apartment complex in Miami, but was stopped at the entrance to the complex by a security guard. While Fuentes was speaking with the security guard, Fuentes’ wife allegedly exited the car and took a photograph of the vehicle in question. According to the FBI, she later shared the photograph with Fuentes’ Russian handler on the mobile phone application WhatsApp. The photograph was discovered by US Customs and Border Protection agents on the smartphone of Fuentes’ wife on Sunday, as the pair tried to board a flight to Mexico City.

The US Department of Justice news release does not identify Fuentes’ alleged espionage target. But an article in The Miami Herald claims that the target is an FBI informant who has provided the Bureau’s counterintelligence division with critical information about Russian espionage operations in the Miami area. Fuentes is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial detention hearing this coming Friday. His arraignment has been scheduled for March 3. The press release does not explain why Fuentes’ wife was not arrested.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 20 February 2020 | Permalink

Revelations continue in ex-CIA agent’s trial in Texas

Luis Posada Carriles

Carriles

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A United States government informant testifying at the immigration trial of a former CIA agent has described how he was smuggled into the US from Mexico onboard a luxury boat. It was believed that the former agent, Cuban-born Luis Posada Carriles, had arrived in the US from Honduras in 2005 using a forged Guatemalan passport. But Gilberto Abascal, an anti-Castro Cuban exile who has been an informant for the FBI since 1999, has told a court in Texas that Carriles was smuggled into Miami on a 90-foot luxury yacht, which carried him from Mexico’s Isla Mujeres to a waterfront Cuban restaurant. Abascal told the court that Carriles disembarked the yacht using a small speedboat, before the yacht’s owner, Santiago Alvarez, reported to US Customs in Miami. Remarkably, Carriles’ smuggling went according to plan, despite the fact that the Miami Chief of Police was among the restaurant’s patrons at the time of the speedboat’s arrival. Carriles is a militant anticommunist who is idolized by America’s anti-Castro Cubans, but is considered a terrorist in parts of Latin America due to his self-confessed participation in a string of bombings of hotels in Havana, Cuba, in 1997. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0214

  • Cuban Five member’s prison term cut to 30 years. A Miami court has reduced the earlier prison sentence of yet another member of the Cuban Five. Ramon Labanino has had his original sentence of life imprisonment cut to 30 years. The Cuban Five were sentenced in 2001 for spying on US soil for Cuba.
  • Part 3 of CIA defector’s writings now available. Former FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Eringer has published the third installment of the writings of Edward Lee Howard, a CIA officer who defected to the USSR in 1985 (see here for previous intelNews coverage). Did you know that “KGB officers always preferred Malév (Hungary’s national airline) whenever they crossed to [Western] Europe”?

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News you may have missed #0154 [updated]

  • Breaking news: Castro’s sister says she spied for the CIA. Juanita Castro, Fidel and Raúl Castro’s sister, says she voluntarily spied for the CIA from 1961 to 1964, when she left the island for Miami. She said she met a CIA officer called “Enrique” at a hotel in Mexico City in 1961; she was then given the codename “Donna” and codebooks so she could receive encoded instructions from Washington.
  • Was Milan Kundera a communist police informant? Documents unearthed by Czech academics allegedly show that the Czech-born author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being denouncing a Western spy to Czechoslovakia’s StB secret police during his student days.
  • Afghans complain about US spy balloon. A US spy balloon (see previous intelNews coverage) flying over the city of Kandahar in Afghanistan, is prompting privacy complaints from residents.

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