Robert Hanssen's Arrest
Former FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Hanssen was arrested in Foxstone Park in February 2001. Hanssen was a resident of Vienna, Virginia – and a Russian spy.
Hanssen sold classified secrets to Russia and the former Soviet Union on at least 20 different occasions over more than 15 years, receiving large sums of cash and diamonds in return. He disclosed confidential information to the KGB, the former secret police and intelligence agency of Soviet Russia.
At the time of his arrest, Hanssen was caught leaving a package underneath a park bridge. The bridge was discovered to have been a site for several “dead drops,” or exchanges of confidential information. In June 2001, Hanssen pleaded guilty to 15 espionage-related charges. He was sentenced in May 2002 to life in prison without parole. He was sent to the supermax unit of the U.S. federal prison in Florence, Colorado, to begin serving his sentence.
Hanssen, a devout Catholic and father of six, by all outward appearances was an ordinary, hardworking citizen. That is why it took so long to catch him. He used his extensive insider counterintelligence knowledge to avoid capture.
The FBI eventually discovered that secrets had been sold to the Russian government. The FBI, CIA, Department of State, and Justice Department all contributed to a seven-year investigation of the U.S. counterintelligence community that identified Hanssen as the spy.
Interested in more? Check out the 2007 movie “Breach,” starring Chris Cooper and Ryan Phillipe, based on these events. Scenes were filmed in Foxstone Park.
The FBI, Famous Cases and Criminals, Robert Philip Hanssen Espionage Case