ICE kicks Russian spy out of the U.S.

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Former New York banker Evgeny Buryakov, a.k.a. Zhenya, 42, was deported to Moscow by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials on Wednesday, following his release from prison after being convicted in federal court of conspiring to act in the United States as an agent of the Russian Federation.

According to a report from ICE, Buryakov pleaded guilty in March 2016 to conspiring to work covertly as a Russian agent in the United States, but he failed to notify the attorney general. This inaction led to his deportation.

Pursuant to his plea agreement, Buryakov relinquished all claims to status in the United States and agreed to enter ICE custody at the conclusion of his federal prison term.

According to court records, “Buryakov worked in the United States for almost four years as an agent of Russia’s foreign intelligence agency, known as the SVR. Buryakov operated under non-official cover, meaning he entered and remained in the United States as a private citizen, posing as an employee in the New York office of a Russian bank, Vnesheconombank (VEB). SVR agents operating under such non-official cover (NOCs) are typically subject to less scrutiny by the host government and, in many cases, are never identified as intelligence agents by the host government.”

Federal law prohibits individuals from acting as agents of foreign governments within the United States without prior notification to the United States Attorney General, according to officials. Department of Justice records show that Buryakov “never notified the United States Attorney General that he was, in fact, an agent of the Russian Federation.”

“Removing individuals like Mr. Buryakov represents ICE’s highest enforcement priority, which is protecting the national security of the United States,” said ICE spokesperson Rebecca Adducci. “ICE will continue to move aggressively against those who engage in actions that could potentially compromise the security of our nation.”

In fiscal year 2016, ICE conducted 240,255 removals nationwide. Out of those individuals removed from the interior of the United States, 92 percent had previously been convicted of a criminal offense.

H/T: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

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