Three men who have been accused of being spies from Russia were charged in Manhattan with operating an illegal ring for intelligence.
One of those charged, Evgeny Buryakov, was arrested in Bronx on Monday according to the United States Justice Department.
Buryakov, according to the complaint that on Monday was unsealed a federal court in Manhattan, entered the U.S. as a private Russian citizen and employee of a bank in Russia with offices in New York, said U.S. officials.
U.S. authorities however allege the reality was much different. They said he was working with two other individuals all of whom formed part of the foreign intelligence service from Russia.
The charges, said Eric Holder the U.S. Attorney General, demonstrate the commitment of the government to combat attempts by covert foreign agents to gather intelligence illegally and recruit other spies into the U.S.
Holder added that U.S. law enforcement will use all the tools at their disposal to first identify then hold accountable these agents operating within the borders of the U.S., no matter the depth of their cover.
Two of the three men met on dozens of different occasions in Manhattan, the Bronx and other locations, with the intent and purpose of exchanging data related to them being intelligence officers inside the U.S.
The meetings took place from March of 2012 through September of 2014, according to the court complaint.
Victor Podobny and Igor Sporyshev were the other two men named in the complaint and accused of participating in the intelligence ring.
The two are charged with a single count of conspiracy to be unregistered agents from a foreign government.
Buryakov, also referred to as Zhenya, was charged as an agent that is not registered, while the other two were accused of aiding and abetting the crime, said the court document obtained by a national daily.
In Washington at the Russian embassy, officials did not respond to requests for comments on the charges the three men face in federal court.