A federal judge released a member of an alleged Russian spy ring on bail Thursday but ordered two others detained until trial after prosecutors said the Russian government would probably help them escape if they were freed.
In court papers and at a hearing in Manhattan, prosecutors said Russian officials in the United States have aided the network of people who the government says have been living like ordinary Americans while secretly reporting to Moscow. If released, the accused spies “could call upon the assistance of a sophisticated, resources-rich foreign intelligence service” to flee the United States, the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office argued in a court filing.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Ronald Ellis issued his rulings after prosecutors said one defendant, known as Juan Lazaro, had confessed to helping the Russian intelligence service and said his devotion superseded even family ties.
“Although he loved his son, he would not violate his loyalty to the ‘Service’ even for his son,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Farbiarz quoted Lazaro as telling the government after being arrested Sunday.