FBI agent and traitor Robert Hanssen, who spied for the old Soviet Union and later the Russians, died Monday in jail serving 15 consecutive life sentences for betraying his country, federal prison officials said.
Hanssen, 79, was found “unresponsive” at around 6:55 a.m. at the federal “Supermax” prison in Florence, Colorado, the Bureau of Prisons said in a statement.
Despite efforts to resuscitate him, Hanssen was pronounced dead by the paramedics who had tried to save him, according to the BOP.
The FBI was notified, but the BOP did not specify whether Hanssen’s death was under investigation.
Hanssen began spying for the Soviets in 1979, three years after joining the FBI.
Under the alias “Ramon Garcia,” Chicago native Hanssen sold “high-secret national security information” to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash, bank money and diamonds. said the FBI on its official history page.
Hanssen was arrested in 2001 after making a fatal fall in a Virginia park while under surveillance by the FBI, who had been watching him for months.
Caught in the actHanssen pleaded guilty to selling thousands of classified documents over the years detailing U.S. nuclear war strategies and counterintelligence intelligence.
Hanssen also revealed to his spymasters in Moscow the existence of an underground secret eavesdropping tunnel built by the FBI under the Soviet embassy.
At the time, the Justice Department described the situation as “arguably the worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history.”
Since July 17, 2002, Hanssen has been imprisoned in the Supermax, the nation’s highest-security federal prison — and home to other high-profile inmates such as al-Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, failed Richard Reid, and “Unabomber.” Ted Kaczynski.
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