FBI agent accused of spying

The FBI Tuesday accused a veteran agent of espionage for allegedly spying for Russia for the past 15 years.

Robert Philip Hanssen was arrested near his Vienna, Va., home Sunday and was arraigned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the Associated Press reported.

Hanssen was assigned to FBI headquarters in Washington and had been an FBI agent for 27 years, spending most of his career in counterintelligence--spying on Russian outposts in the United States.

NBC reported that Hanssen was arrested shortly after FBI agents saw him deposit a package of classified information at a "dead drop" in a Virginia park.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows said Hanssen could face the death penalty if convicted and could be fined up to $2.8 million--twice his alleged personal gain from the activities of which he is accused.

Attorney General John Ashcroft in a news conference expressed outrage over the Hanssen's alleged activities. "Individuals who commit treasonous acts against the United States will be held fully accountable," Ashcroft said.

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