Three Arlington residents (see updated information here) have been arrested and charged with spying for Russia, part of a larger sweep of ten alleged “secret agents” across the eastern seaboard.
The Justice Department says eight of the ten defendants carried out “long-term, ‘deep-cover’ assignments in the United States on behalf of the Russian Federation.”
Michael Zottoli, Patricia Mills and Mikhail Semenko were arrested at their homes in Arlington yesterday, according to the Department of Justice. They were scheduled to appear in federal court in Alexandria today.
All three of the Arlington defendants are charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Zottoli and Mills are also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
In addition to the Arlington defendants, five people were arrested in the greater New York area and two people were arrested in Boston.
“This case is the result of a multi-year investigation conducted by the FBI, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and the Counterespionage Section and the Office of Intelligence within the Justice Department’s National Security Division,” the Justice Department said in a statement.