The Justice Department has announced the capture of an alleged Russian agent in Florida, after the man was seen photographing a US government informant's car in Miami.
The alleged Russian spy is a Mexican citizen named Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, and was charged Tuesday with being an “unregistered foreign agent” for Russia after he was stopped attempting to fly out of Miami International Airport.
Though specific details from court documents remain murky, it appears Cabrera was caught in the middle of a counterintelligence op which targeted the FBI's own program to root out Russian spying on American soil.
According to details obtained by the Miami Herald:
The affidavit says Cabrera visited the complex to spy on a resident at the “direction” of an agent with the Russian Intelligence Service, which operates under President Vladimir Putin. It turned out that the resident was an informant for the FBI’s counterintelligence division who provides information on Russian spying activities in South Florida. Before he was asked to leave the complex, Cabrera’s wife took a photo of the federal informant’s car and license plate.
Apparently the man has confessed to being in contact with Russian intelligence.
The report continues:
Cabrera, who was visiting Miami on a business and tourism visa, told FBI agents during questioning Monday that he had met with the Russian intelligence agent in Russia several times over the past year and that he instructed him to rent a unit at the condo complex in Miami to do surveillance on the FBI informant. His cellphone showed that there had been interaction between Cabrera and his Russian handler, according to the affidavit.
His latest visit to Moscow where he met with his intelligence handler was earlier this month, according to reports, and was done under the guise of visiting his Russian wife's home country.
Cabrera apparently has two wives — one from Mexico and a second from Russia, and has most recently lived in Singapore as an occupational researcher.
He was expected to meet with his Russian intelligence handler to pass along the information gathered in south Florida either in April or May.
It was reportedly a security guard for the US informant that first observed Cabrera and his wife staking out the FBI source's car.