The FBI has released new video, photos and documents showing the activity of a Russian spy ring in the U.S. One of the videos shows spy activity taking place in Arlington.
Three Arlington residents were among the 10 Russian spies arrested in June 2010 and later deported. In a just-released video, one of the Arlington-based spies is seen making a “dead drop” under a bridge in an Arlington park.
According to court documents, investigators videotaped the drop after Mikhail Semenko was contacted by an undercover FBI agent posing as a Russian spy handler on June 26, 2010. The agent gave Semenko an envelope containing $5,000 cash and showed him a map indicating where he was to discretely leave the envelope.
The Arlington park where the drop took place was not identified.
Rodney M. Gunsauley, 61, is charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He’s currently being held without bond at the Arlington County jail, police say. Gunsauley was previously convicted of a fraud-related charge in
2000 2001, according to public records.
From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department, along with the FBI, Washington Field Office, is investigating an incident where several weapons were found hidden near Patrick Henry Drive and I-66 on October 12, 2011.
A search warrant was executed on a residence in the 4000 block of N. 17th Street last night as part of the investigation. Rodney Gunsauley, 61, of Arlington, was charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He is being held without bond in the Arlington County Detention Facility.
Update at 3:55 p.m. — Police have announced that an arrest has been made in connection with the FBI raid. As a result, we’ve removed a now-irrelevant reference to the owner of the group house that was raided.
About a dozen FBI agents executed a search warrant on a house in Cherrydale last night.
FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin confirmed the operation but was unable to provide any additional details, citing an on-going investigation. Agents, many wearing FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force jackets, could be seen carrying boxes of evidence out of the house late last night. One agent was wearing an “FBI Bomb Tech” jacket.
A neighbor said the house, located on the 4000 block of 17th Street N., was a group home, divided into several apartments. He said he hasn’t noticed anything suspicious about any of its residents.
FBI agents were assisted by Arlington County Police and the Arlington County Bomb Squad. The county’s bomb squad truck helped to provide light at the scene. It’s unclear if bomb squad members were utilized for any other part of the operation. Godwin said the scene posed no danger to the public.
In a somewhat unusual move, police officers stopped at least two individuals who were taking photos of the scene and demanded their name, address and date of birth.
The search warrant comes one week after an FBI Evidence Response Team conducted a search of a site near I-66 and Patrick Henry Drive, following the discovery of gun parts buried in the ground in a wooded area.
FBI agents are using metal detectors, shovels and buckets to try to locate new evidence at the site where gun parts and PVC pipes were found buried in the ground yesterday morning.
An FBI Evidence Response Team truck, an all-terrain vehicle and a tent now line Patrick Henry Drive near the I-66 overpass. Yesterday, VDOT construction contractors found gun parts buried in the ground near a utility box, prompting an investigation by the Arlington County bomb squad and police department. The FBI has since taken over the investigation.
A team from the FBI’s Washington Field Office started searching the muddy grounds, just above the westbound lanes of I-66, around 8:00 this morning. Washington Field Office spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin says she was unaware of any findings at the site so far.
Update on 10/13 — This developing story has been updated.
(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) The FBI is now investigating weapons found buried near I-66 and the Patrick Henry Drive overpass.
FBI agents, a representative from the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force and Arlington County police are still on the scene, more than 8 hours after a VDOT construction contractor found the gun and called the authorities.
A gun, two “weapon parts” and PVC pipes were recovered from the ground, near a utility box, according to FBI Washington Field Office spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said.
The FBI will likely keep the scene cordoned off tonight and continue searching the site tomorrow, Godwin said. Agents have been seen examining maps and walking through the cordoned off area.
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) It looked like a scene from an action movie, but it was really just a training exercise.
FBI agents, dressed in camouflage body armor and armed with faux automatic weapons, practiced raiding a home in Waverly Hills today. The home, near the corner of 16th Street and N. Glebe Road, was vacant and made available for law enforcement training by the property owner.
Several alarmed residents contacted ARLnow.com to ask what was going on. When we arrived on scene about a half dozen FBI personnel were standing in the street observing agents who were surrounding the house with riot shields and fake guns.
FBI Washington Field Office spokesperson Lindsay Godwin said field training exercises like this are conducted at local homes about four times per year.
We blurred the agents’ faces at the request of the FBI.
County No Longer Offering iParks — The company that makes the iPark electronic parking pass has stopped manufacturing the device due to financial problems. That has prompted Arlington County to stop selling iParks, pending the company’s effort to stay in business. More from TBD.
O’Leary, Morroy Announce Reelection Bid — Arlington County Treasurer Frank O’Leary and Commissioner of Revenue Ingrid Morroy, both Democrats, announced their bids for reelection at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. See the video from Blue Virginia.
Arlington Man Indicted for Bomb Threats — The 25-year-old Arlington View resident who, according to the FBI, threatened to bomb Georgetown streets and Metro trains on Facebook has been indicted by a federal grand jury. More from WTOP.
Learn More About Redistricting in Virginia — The League of Women Voters of Arlington will be holding a public forum tonight on the upcoming redistricting process in Virginia. The forum will take place from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association building, located at 4301 Wilson Boulevard in Ballston. Free parking is available in the building after 5:30.
This is the house on 11th Street South in the Arlington View neighborhood where alleged “wannabe jihadist” Awais Younis lived with family members.
Younis, also known as Sundullah Ghizai and Mohhanme Khan, was arrested by the FBI last week and charged with threatening — via Facebook — to set off pipe bombs in Georgetown and on Metro trains.
Younis, graduated from Arlington’s Washington-Lee High School in 2004. A high school classmate and neighbor said the Afghanistan native was “real quiet.”
“He stayed to himself, kind of like an outsider,” LaRondre Gaskins told WUSA 9. “No friends but certain things that happened he was real weird about, like when 9-11 happened… he clapped about it in class.”
A family member, meanwhile, called the charges “bullsh-t.”
Younis, who is in his mid-20s, will undergo a court-ordered mental health evaluation. A court hearing is scheduled for Dec. 21.
All was quiet at Younis’ house this morning. There was little activity on the street, save an elderly woman taking items out of her SUV.
On the porch in front of the red brick home, Encyclopedia Britannicas were stacked haphazardly in a potato chip box. Down the side of the house, an Afghan rug was folded next to a Dell computer box, apparently waiting to be taken away as trash.
The FBI’s terrorism task force has arrested a 25-year-old Arlington man on suspicion of making bomb threats via Facebook.
Awais Younis was taken into custody on Dec. 7. In court documents, he’s accused of threatening to use pipe bombs to blow up a busy section of Georgetown. He’s also accused of threatening to place bombs on Metro trains.
Feds say Farooque Ahmed thought he was assisting members of al-Qaeda by providing sketches, photos and videos of the Pentagon City, Courthouse, Arlington Cemetery and Crystal City stations. According to prosecutors, he also observed and detailed security procedures in the stations for his handlers, who he believed to be affiliated with the terror organization.
Ahmed collected the information “with the intent to plan and assist in planning multiple bombings to cause mass casualties at Metrorail stations,” the indictment reads.
His goal, according to the indictment, was “to kill as many military personnel as possible.”
Flickr pool photo by Mattron.
Rain, At Last — After a long dry spell, we’ll get periods rain all day and potentially strong thunderstorms tonight. More from the Capital Weather Gang.
Local Lobbyist Pleads Guilty to Illegal Campaign Contributions — Lobbyist Paul Magliocchetti pleaded guilty Friday to making $386,250 in illegal campaign contributions to members of Congress. Magliocchetti founded the Arlington-based firm The PMA Group, which folded in 2009, several months after being raided by the FBI. One of PMA’s major beneficiaries was Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who received nearly $1 million from the firm over ten years. More from the Washington Times.
WaPo Profiles Alcova Heights – The Washington Post digs up some of the history of Alcova Heights, which up until the 1920s was a farm. If you ever wanted to know where the name came from (hint: it’s not very imaginative), read on.
Boccato Gelato Redesigned — The gelato has remained the same, but Clarendon’s Boccato Gelato now has a new interior. More from Clarendon Nights.
NWS: No Sign of Tornado in South Arlington — Despite photos of car windows blown out and mass tree devastation, a team from the National Weather Service found no evidence that a tornado caused the worst of the damage in South Arlington. More from Fox 5.
Arlington FBI Impersonator Sentenced — Arlington resident Brenna Marie Reilly, 29, who told people she was the director of the FBI’s Forensic Division and later convinced a neighbor to quit his job and serve as her assistant, was sentenced on Friday. She will serve 30 days in prison, four months of house arrest and three years of probation. More from the Washington Examiner.
Cat Fight Breaks Out Over Roaming Pets — In June, the Sun Gazette ran a opinion piece from someone who wasn’t too happy with his neighbor’s cat roaming in his yard. “Do I need my neighbors’ cat in my backyard when my wife and daughter are allergic?” he asked. Now, courtesy of the Huffington Post, we get a counterpoint. Blogger Tamar Abrams is apparently the owner of the offending feline. She shoots back: “For the record, his dog has peed on my yard. His dog has barked many times. But I can’t imagine complaining about that.”
Fake FBI Agent Pleads Guilty — Brenna Marie Reilly, 29, was arrested in Arlington in March and accused of impersonating an FBI agent. Prosecutors say that as part of the elaborate ruse, Reilly went so as to hire an unwitting neighbor as an assistant. Reilly pleaded guilty in federal court today. She faces up to three years in prison.
Arlington Releases Memorial Day Closure List — Unsurprisingly, just about everything county-related will be closed. However, trash collection will continue as normal and the Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center will be open for part of the day.
Write-Up for China Garden Dim Sum — If you haven’t had dim sum at Rosslyn’s China Garden restaurant, it’s worth it just for the experience, if not the food, according to I Spy Things DC. China Garden is located inside the ABC7 building at Wilson Blvd and North Lynn Street.
An Arlington woman is facing federal charges for allegedly impersonating an FBI agent.
Authorities say Brenna Reilly, 29, told neighbors in her Arlington apartment building that she was the director of the FBI’s Forensic Division. She even convinced a neighbor to quit his job and serve as her assistant, according to court documents.
Reilly was arrested earlier this month. Arlington County police assisted with the arrest.
More from the Washington Examiner.