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FBI Video of Russian Spy Activity in Arlington

by ARLnow.com | November 1, 2011 at 9:22 am | 4,467 views | 30 Comments

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.

ABC News and the FBI have more information about the other newly-released evidence from the case, dubbed Operation Ghost Stories.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | July 8, 2010 at 4:10 am | 525 views | 4 Comments

Pentagon Reviewing Change to Security Checkpoints Near Metro Station — At the behest of local transportation officials, Pentagon brass will be reviewing proposed changes to the security checkpoints near the Pentagon Metro Station. The changes, which follow the March shooting that left two security guards wounded and the suspect dead, would move the checkpoints closer to the station. Local officials worry the move could create long security lines that would disrupt the flow of commuters in and out of the station.

Arlington Spy Suspects Transferred to New York — Say goodbye to the (accused) Russian spies who loved Arlington. A judge has ordered that Michael Zottoli, Patricia Mills and Mikhail Semenko be transferred to New York. Attorneys for the three tried to keep them in Virginia, but a federal court judge ordered the transfer yesterday. There’s word that the ten accused spies may be swapped with Russia for an imprisoned nuclear scientist convicted of spying for the United States.

Arlington Artist’s Creation Appears on Popular Blog — On Tuesday, the popular blog Boing Boing highlighted a “giant bike-friendly junk-cyborg” created by Arlington artist Luke Idziak. The pedal-powered kinetic sculpture, called Wheeled Victory, or The Cyborg of Interstellar Justice, was created in 2008 and funded by the Arlington Cultural Affairs Office.

Flickr pool photo by philliefan99.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | July 5, 2010 at 7:49 am | 396 views | 1 Comment

Power Outage in Ballston/Virginia Square — More than 1,600 Dominion customers are without power this morning due to a problem with an underground cable in the area of the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations, according to WJLA.

Arlington Spy Suspects Admit True Identities – Patricia Mills and Michael Zottoli, the Pentagon City couple arrested last weekend and charged with being secret agents for the Russian government, are actually Russian citizens named Natalia Pereverzeva and Mikhail Kutzik, prosecutors have revealed. The couple and a third Arlington defendant, Mikhail Semenko, briefly appeared in court Friday. They will face a preliminary hearing in Alexandria federal court on Wednesday.

Morning Notes: Spies Like Us

by ARLnow.com | June 29, 2010 at 6:28 am | 589 views | 3 Comments

“Like a Hollywood movie” — That’s how many news reports describe the bust of an alleged Russian spy ring over the weekend. If the movie was ever produced, much of the action would be set in Arlington. Arlington is the place where three of the 11 suspects lived and were arrested. It is also the site of some intrigue on June 26, 2010. According to court documents, video surveillance cameras installed by the FBI captured one of the suspects, Mikhail Semenko, leaving an envelope containing $5,000 cash at a “drop site” in an unnamed Arlington park.

Residents Describe Arrested Neighbors as Reserved, Ordinary — Neighbors and colleagues of the three arrested Arlington residents say they never imagined that they were in the midst of alleged “secret agents.” Mikhail Semenko worked at Travel All Russia, a Russian travel agency in Lyon Park. He was fluent in four languages, drove a Mercedes S-500, and spent much of his time with his Russian-speaking girlfriend, according to a North Arlington neighbor.

Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills, meanwhile, had two young children who are now in protective custody, reports ABC 7. Zottoli and Mills each had a Russian accent, a neighbor said, but no one suspected they were part of a spy ring. They lived in the River House Apartments in Pentagon City after moving to the area from Seattle last year, according to court documents.

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