Mexican Scientist Spied for Russia in Florida, Says DOJ

A Russian flag flies next to the US embassy building in Moscow

A Mexican scientist faces espionage charges after U.S. authorities arrested him in Florida for allegedly trying to get information on behalf of Russian agents.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Hector Alejandro Cabrera Fuentes, a Mexican national, is accused of acting as an agent of Russia without notifying the federal government–a type of charge used for espionage cases. Cabrera Fuentes is a biochemist and a researcher who lived in Singapore before his trip to Florida.

While court documents remain sealed, the DOJ claims that in 2019, a Russian agent recruited Cabrera Fuentes and asked him to rent a specific apartment in Miami. The agent reportedly told Cabrera Fuentes to keep their meeting secret. After renting the apartment, Cabrera Fuentes traveled to Russia to meet with the agent and spoke about future plans, according to authorities.

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.” The Russian agent asked Cabrera Fuentes to find the vehicle, get the license plate number, and a location. He was to travel to Moscow in April or May to deliver the information, say authorities.

On February 13, the DOJ says Cabrera Fuentes and his wife traveled from Mexico City to Miami to track down the vehicle. A security guard at an apartment complex spotted him as he tailgated a car while entering the property. The guard saw Cabrera Fuentes’ wife get out of the car and take a photograph of a license plate. The guard confronted the two and ordered them to leave the property, according to federal reports.

On February 16, Cabrera Fuentes and his wife arrived at the Miami airport to fly back to Mexico City but were stopped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection who checked his phone and found photographs of license plates. During questioning, Cabrera Fuentes reportedly said he was following directions from a Russian official.

Ildefonso Ortiz is an award-winning journalist with Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Brandon Darby and senior Breitbart management. You can follow him on Twitter and on Facebook. He can be contacted at Iortiz@breitbart.com

Brandon Darby is the managing director and editor-in-chief of Breitbart Texas. He co-founded Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project with Ildefonso Ortiz and senior Breitbart management. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He can be contacted at bdarby@breitbart.com.     

Tony Aranda from Breitbart Texas’ Cartel Chronicles project contributed to this report

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