A Mexican scientist has been sentenced to four years in prison for spying on “a U.S. government source” on behalf of Russia.
Hector Cabrera Fuentes, 37, pleaded guilty in February to acting on behalf of a foreign government without notifying American authorities.
“I have deep regrets and remorse for my actions and I apologize to the United States,” said Mr. Cabrera Fuentes, according to Agence France-Presse. “Everyone makes mistakes in his life, and this is my big mistake.”
Mr. Cabrera Fuentes, a biochemist and cardiovascular researcher who also lived in Singapore, was arrested in Miami in 2020.
The Justice Department said Mr. Cabrera Fuentes was recruited by Russian officials to rent an apartment in Florida under a false name and provide certain information during visits to Russia.
Mr. Cabrera Fuentes was instructed to obtain the license plate number and Miami parking location of a “specified U.S. person’s car, and to provide this information to the Russian official upon his next trip to Russia.”
A security guard grew suspicious after Mr. Cabrera Fuentes and a travel companion tailgated onto residential premises and took a photo of the U.S. source’s license plate. Border agents found the photo while inspecting the companion’s phone as the pair tried to leave the country at Miami International Airport, leading to Mr. Cabrera Fuentes’ admission he was working for the Russians.
Mr. Cabrera Fuentes had faced a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison.