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Robert Hansen is dead. A former FBI agent who spyed for Russia was found dead in his cell

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Robert Hanssen, a former FBI agent who spyed for the Soviet Union and then Russia, was found dead on Monday in a prison cell where he was serving a life sentence, US authorities said. Hanssen, who was 79 when he died, was described by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the “most damaging spy” in the agency’s history.

The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons said Robert Hanssen, 79, was found Monday morning in a cell at a maximum security facility in Florence, Colorado. Employees took action to restore life functions, but without success.

In 2002, Hanssen was sentenced to life imprisonment after admitting that he had been spying for the Soviet Union for more than 20 years and then Russia.

He joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1976. He started working with the Soviet side in 1985. By the time of his arrest in 2001, he had received more than $1.4 million in cash, bank funds and diamonds from Moscow. In return, he provided the Russians with information about the personal sources of American services, operational techniques and secret documents.

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Robert HansenFBI/EPA

FBI investigators have been working for years to identify a spy within their ranks. According to the agency, in the weeks leading up to Hanssen’s detention, about 300 agents worked to monitor his activities.

“We wanted enough evidence to convict him, and the ultimate goal was to catch him in the act,” said Debra Evans Smith, who was working in the Counterintelligence Department at the time.

Hidden cameras and wiretaps were placed in Hanssen’s office. A month later, investigators caught the spy exchanging messages at a prearranged location in a park in Virginia.

The FBI has named him the “most damaging spy” in the agency’s history, Reuters reported.

Main photo source: FBI/EPA



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