Robert Hanssen, double agent who used Vienna park as dead drop site, dies in prison

Robert Hanssen, former Vienna resident and convicted spy (via FBI)

Spy Robert Hanssen, a former Vienna resident who passed along secrets to the Soviet Union and Russia via a nearby park, died yesterday (Monday) in a Colorado federal prison.

Hanssen, 79, was an FBI counterintelligence agent who was sentenced to life in prison in 2002 for passing classified information to Soviet (later Russian) intelligence.

Hanssen was found unresponsive in his cell yesterday and pronounced dead later that day. AP reported that he is believed to have died of natural causes.

Hanssen used Foxstone Park in Vienna as a dead drop location for passing along classified information. He was arrested at the park in February 2001.

According to the Fairfax County Park Authority, Hanssen sold classified secrets on at least 20 different occasions over 15 years.

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’s actions were later dramatized in the movie “Breach,” which filmed some scenes at Foxstone Park.

Read more on FFXnow…

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