US Arrests Mexican Citizen for Allegedly Acting on Behalf of Russian Federation

US Arrests Mexican Citizen for Allegedly Acting on Behalf of Russian Federation”

A Mexican national is accused of working on behalf of Russian Federation while allegedly trying to conduct surveillance of a US government source in Miami, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, a Mexican citizen who lives in Singapore, is accused of conspiracy and "acting within the United States on behalf of a foreign government". A security guard at an apartment complex spotted him as he tailgated a vehicle while entering the property.

Court documents cited by the DOJ stated that Fuentes had been recruited by a Russian government official previous year. He was spotted the next day by a security guard where the USA government source lives and where Fuentes' companion was allegedly seen taking a picture of the license plate of the source's vehicle, federal authorities say. The official approved and told Fuentes to see him again on his next trip to Russian Federation. Fuentes travelled to Russia and informed the Russian government official about the arrangements.

When agency officers inspected the mobile phone belonging to Fuentes' wife, they found a close-up image of the source's vehicle license plate number in the device's "recently deleted folder".

In March 2019, the complaint reads, Fuentes's second family took a trip to Russian Federation. "According to court documents, messages on Fuentes's phone showed that the Russian official initiated and directed the meetings", said the DOJ release. But as they tried to leave to return to Germany, prosecutors say, "Russian customs officials would not allow the family to depart Russia".

The complaint says that Fuentes recognized the official. The agent reportedly told Cabrera Fuentes to keep their meeting secret.

According to court documents, Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, a Mexican citizen residing in Singapore, was allegedly recruited by a Russian government official in 2019 and tasked with locating and obtaining the vehicle license plate number of a US government source. The official also allegedly gave Fuentes "a hardcopy printout" of Fuentes' Gmail account, showing correspondence between Fuentes and a Miami realtor from 2015.

In February, the Mexican national traveled to Moscow where he was given the physical description of a vehicle being used by a "U.S. government source".

It's not clear whether Fuentes was targeted by government agents after his interaction with the condominium guard, or whether he was identified by chance. The Mexican national then took another, final trip to Moscow in February 2020, where the Russian official gave Fuentes "a physical description" of the informant's vehicle.

According to website ESC 365, Fuentes is a Mexican doctor who graduated with a master's degree in molecular biology from Kazan Federal University located in Kazan, Russia.

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