Mexican man charged with working as Russian agent in Florida

The Associated Press

Miami – A Mexican man has been charged with working as a Russian agent in South Florida.

Hector Cabrera Fuentes, 35, was arrested Monday by the FBI and charged with acting as an unregistered foreign agent, the Miami Herald reported. Cabrera said during a hearing Tuesday in Miami federal court that he had bank accounts and jobs in different parts of the world.

Cabrera and his wife arrived in South Florida last Thursday, rented a car and drove directly to a Miami-area condominium complex, according to a criminal affidavit. Investigators said Cabrera was following instructions from an agent with the Russian Intelligence Service, which operates under President Vladimir Putin.

The complex was the home of an informant for the FBI’s counterintelligence division who provides information on Russian spying activities in South Florida, the affidavit said. Cabrera’s wife took a photo of the federal informant’s car and license plate before they were kicked out by a security guard, it said.

Cabrera and his wife tried to fly to Mexico on Sunday but were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, according to authorities.

Authorities say Cabrera 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 conduct surveillance on the FBI informant.

A message seeking comment from the Federal Public Defender in Miami wasn’t immediately returned.