Robert Hanssen, notorious FBI agent caught spying for Moscow, dies in prison

Hanssen received payments of $1.4 million in cash and diamonds for the information he gave the Soviet Union and Russia.

ByMichelle Watson, CNN
Monday, June 5, 2023
Robert Hanssen, one of America's most notorious spies, dies in prison
Robert Hanssen, who received payments of $1.4 million in cash and diamonds for the information he gave the Soviet Union and Russia, has died.

FLORENCE, Colo. -- Robert Philip Hanssen, who received payments of $1.4 million in cash and diamonds for the information he gave the Soviet Union and Russia, has died, the Federal Bureau of Prisons announced Monday.

Hanssen had been in custody at Colorado's USP Florence ADMAX since July 17, 2002.

"On Monday, June 5, 2023, at approximately 6:55 am, inmate Robert Hanssen was found unresponsive at the United States Penitentiary (USP) Florence ADMAX in Florence, Colorado," a release from the Federal Bureau of Prisons said. "Responding staff immediately initiated life-saving measures. Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued."

"Mr. Hanssen was subsequently pronounced deceased by EMS personnel," the release said.

In 2001, Hanssen pleaded guilty to 15 counts of espionage and conspiracy in exchange for the government not seeking the death penalty.

Investigators accused him of compromising dozens of Soviet personnel who were working for the United States, some of whom were executed. He shared details of several US technical operations such as eavesdropping, surveillance and interception of communications. And he gave the Soviets the US plans of how it would react to a Soviet nuclear attack, both in protecting top government officials and retaliating against such an attack.

"I apologize for my behavior," he said in court during his sentencing in 2002. "I am shamed by it. Beyond its illegality, I have torn the trust of so many. Worse, I have opened the door for calumny against my totally innocent wife and our children. I hurt them deeply. I have hurt so many deeply."

This is a breaking story and will be updated.