From the court papers it does not appear that any of the spies provided the same sort of information as former FBI agent Robert Hanssen who was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2002 for spying for the Soviet Union and Russia for two decades. His spying played a role in the deaths of at least three US spies.
“It’s right out of a John le Carré novel,” says Stan Twardy, a former US attorney for the state of Connecticut and now a partner at Day Pitney LLP in Stamford, Conn. “It will interesting to see how it plays out next couple of days and weeks from an international point of view and law enforcement point of view.”
From a law enforcement point of view, the US is expected to convene a grand jury to issue an indictment.
On Friday, the US issued a complaint. According to a Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, an indictment sometimes follows a criminal complaint within 30 days. The complaint charges the 10 people – an eleventh person is still being sought – with conspiring to act as unlawful agents of the Russian federation. Nine of the individuals are also charged with money laundering.