Robert Hansen, an FBI agent who spied for the former Soviet Union and later Russia, died Monday in prison where he was serving fifteen consecutive life sentences for betraying the United States.
The Bureau of Prisons said in a statement that 79-year-old Robert Hansen was “found unconscious” at the “Supermax” federal prison in Florence, Colorado, around 06:55 local time.
The note did not provide details about the cause of his death, although it specified that no inmates or prison staff were injured and that there was no danger to the public at any time.
Emergency service personnel who treated at the scene pronounced the inmate brought dead.
Robert Hansen was arrested in 2001 and convicted of fifteen counts of espionage for selling highly classified material to the Soviet Union and Russia during the waning years of the Cold War. He had been in a Colorado prison since 2002.
On its website, the FBI calls him “the most damaging spy” in its history, because he gave national security information to the Russians “in exchange for $1.4 million in cash, bank funds and diamonds”. His espionage activities began in 1985, nine years after joining the FBI.
Hansen worked with the Russians under the alias ‘Ramon Garcia’ and provided sensitive information that compromised “numerous human sources, counterintelligence techniques, investigations, and dozens of classified government documents” to, among others, the KGB and its aftermath. to the agency. , SVR, indicates FBI.
Thanks to his experience and training, Hansen remained under the radar for years, although his activities raised suspicions during his time with Moscow.
In the 1990s, following the arrest of CIA agent Aldrich Ames for working for the Russians, the agency and the FBI realized they must have another Russian spy in their ranks who was sharing classified information, until they found Hansen. Not found.
The American was arrested after being caught in the act in a Virginia park where he was trying to contact another Russian spy.
Months later, he pleaded guilty to selling thousands of classified documents to Moscow that contained, among other things, data on US strategy against nuclear warfare and counterintelligence information.
Hansen also alerted the Russians to the existence of a secret tunnel built by the FBI under the Russian embassy in Washington for wiretapping, and was accused of compromising dozens of Russians collaborating with the US, including Some of them were executed.
At the time, the Justice Department described the situation as “possibly the worst intelligence disaster in American history”.