Rus­sian man iden­ti­fied in spy ring probe de­ported

Austin American-Statesman - - WORLD & NATION - By Jerry Markon

WASHINGTON — Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties de­tained a 12th per­son in their in­ves­ti­ga­tion of a Rus­sian spy ring in the United States, and he has been de­ported to Rus­sia, law en­force­ment of­fi­cials said Tues­day.

The man, Alexey Karet­nikov, en­tered the United States in Oc­to­ber and was liv­ing in the western part of the coun­try, of­fi­cials said. Karet­nikov, a Rus­sian in his early to mid-20s, had been held on im­mi­gra­tion vi­o­la­tions be­cause there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to charge him with a crime, they said.

“He was just in the early stages; had just set up shop,” said one se­nior fed­eral law en­force­ment of­fi­cial, who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause the de­tails of the case were closely held. The of­fi­cial added that the FBI be­gan mon­i­tor­ing the Rus­sian al­most im­me­di­ately upon his ar­rival and that he had “ob­tained ab­so­lutely no in­for­ma­tion.”

An im­mi­gra­tion judge is­sued an or­der Mon­day for Karet­nikov’s re­moval from the United States, said Matt Chan­dler, a Home­land Se­cu­rity Depart­ment spokesman.

Karet­nikov ad­mit­ted that he was il­le­gally present in the coun­try and agreed to the de­por­ta­tion in lieu of fur­ther court pro­ceed­ings, Chan­dler said.

U.S. of­fi­cials said Karet­nikov was sent home Tues­day. They wouldn’t spec­ify where he had been liv­ing in the western United States, but data­base searches show that some­one with Karet­nikov’s name had been liv­ing in an apart­ment in Red­mond, Wash., since Oc­to­ber.

That man’s Face­book page says he worked for Mi­crosoft Corp. and a Ro­ma­nian-based soft­ware com­pany called Neo­bit. A Mi­crosoft spokes­woman said she was look­ing into a re­porter’s in­quiry about Karet­nikov but didn’t pro­vide any more in­for­ma­tion.

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