Two suspected spies admit they're Russian citizens

  • 14 years ago

Two suspects in an alleged spy ring admitted they are Russian citizens living in the US under false identities.

The suspects known as Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills told authorities after their arrest that their real names are Mikhail Kutzik and Natalia Pereverzeva, prosecutors said in a court filing on Friday.

The pair were arrested in Arlington, Virginia, where they have been living as a married couple with two young children.

Zottoli and Mills, along with a third defendant, Mikhail Semenko, remained in jailed after waiving their right to a detention hearing during brief appearances in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia.

11 people were arrested this week in connection to the spy case. Six other defendants had already appeared in US courts, and one, Vicky Palaez was granted bail that will be subject to electronic monitoring and home detention.

In a court filing, prosecutors said Zottoli and Mills had $100,000 in cash and fake passports and other identity documents stashed in safe deposit boxes.

According to court documents, Zottoli claims to be a US citizen, born in Yonkers, New York, and is married to Mills, a purported Canadian citizen.

Meanwhile, in Cyprus, authorities admitted on Friday that the suspected paymaster for the Russian spy ring, Christopher Metsos has likely fled the Mediterranean resort island.