Russian spies living in the neighborhood

The couple known as Richard and Cynthia Murphy (Richard & Cynthia Murphy), it seemed a typical American family living with two young daughters in a colonial style and painted in a beige two-story house on Marquette road, 31.


As it was written on a business card, Cynthia, she worked as a financial planner at an accounting firm in nearby Manhattan. Richard told neighbors that he was not working and bringing up daughters, 9-year-old Lisa and her 11-year-old sister Kate.


The shocking truth was revealed when, in 2010, the FBI agents spent in the house searched: the case of Richard and Cynthia’s name was Vladimir and Lydia Guriev.


“If you’d told me that it’s the Martians that came from outer space, I would be less surprised,” — says the teacher of the poetry of Elizabeth Lapin (Lapin Elizabeth), who lives on the same street not far from the house, which is now called the “spy house”.

Guriev 1990-ies gathered information for the Russian SVR, which the FBI calls the modern equivalent of the KGB. If you remember, the KGB was a inspires universal fear of the state security service in the defunct Soviet Union. During the cold war its purpose was to ensure the activity of the internal “secret police” and manage a spy network around the world.


27 Jun 2010 the FBI arrested Gurevich and eight other alleged Russian spies, who lived in Manhattan, in Yonkers, Boston and Northern Virginia. This news caused a sensation and was widely reported in the press. It was a reminder of the cold war, and even inspired the Directors of the TV channel FX to create a spy drama in the style of 1980-ies the Americans (The Americans).


But as deep cover Russian spies in the TV series “the Americans” have made unpredictable and reckless actions, they said the neighbor Virginia Bailey (Virginia Bailey), has made her not the impression, as Guriev.


Apparently, these neighbors are unpredictable or reckless, was not” — said Bailey CNN correspondent.


That’s what it’s like to actually live next door to a Russian spy, I think different residents of the city of Montclair, talked with the journalists of the TV channel CNN.


Hide in plain sight


Remembering that time, neighbors say that the “spy house” Gurevich was the perfect place to hide and be in plain sight. Just half an hour by bus from Manhattan. And in a house with a plot adjacent to the nature reserve area of about 85 thousand square meters, meeting with agents and exchange of information can be easy to hide from prying eyes.


Guriev was not too sociable, but not really hiding. According to neighbors, they sometimes attended held at the district of summer charity party.


Bailey and her daughter, Jessie Gugig (Jessie Gugig), remember how, just before the RAID, FBI agents they saw their neighbor “Cynthia” in the morning, was walking his dog, walking along Marquette road. Although they never stopped to talk to her, Bailey says that the neighbor looked “very attractive and was very well built. She was always very beautifully dressed.”


Some neighbors said that the couple spoke with an accent, but, according to Elizabeth Lapin, she had an accent not heard.


“One summer, the girls built a lemonade stand, says Lapin. — It was so American”.


Elizabeth Lapin says that even before the RAID she had a “gut feeling” that there is “something strange”. A few months before this event she saw on the streets of the neighborhood an unusual elongated design. On Friday before the RAID, she says, near her house was a parked police car.


But espionage? This she did not come, says Lapin.

How they are calculated


The FBI and the CIA first learned about this group of deep cover spies, foreign intelligence service, operating in the United States, in the early 2000-ies. They lived in the country as “illegals” — that is, diplomatic protection they had.

The American government was secretly watching all these spies for several years wiretapped conversations in the house Gurevich and even smuggled it searches in the absence of the owners. FBI officials told the authors shot on CNN of the series Declassifed (“Unclassified”) that Guriev was trying so hard to fit into American society, to blend into the crowd of Americans that do not speak Russian even at home.


Ultimately, US intelligence agencies have cracked the secret code that the spies used to communicate with Moscow. Because of this, FBI agents could obtain more information about the comings and goings of Gurevich. In 2009, FBI agents shot a video of the meeting between Vladimir and the Russian government official. The authorities decided that members of the spy network it’s time to arrest.


Jesse Gagig recalls how she, a 15-year-old girl, were shocked, watching as the house Gurevich — just two steps from her own home — stopped cars, the FBI.


“Finally drove another car, and she turned out to be guys in suits and with headphones held in his hands some papers — must be a warrant,” recalls Jesse, now 22-year-old law student. Agents suddenly broke into the house, turned on the light and began to search it from top to bottom.


“Everywhere in the house the lights came on like Christmas,” she says.


After the RAID for another week, at least, the whole area was flooded with members of the press, says Bailey, the girl’s mother. — Yes, they immediately went to the crowd. It was just a carnival.”


After his arrest, neighbors Elizabeth Lapin plucked up courage, went to their house and looked in the window. Inside she saw some items lying on the table, among them — the tutorial Lisa, Chinese grammar, stacks of coins and a book of post-war memoir called “a Woman in Berlin” (a Woman in Berlin, 1953).


On the wall next to the piano hung a “beautiful picture”, which depicted a girl. Lapin believes that it was a self-portrait of Kate.


Two girls Gurevich taken away, and they lived in the house of a family friend.

What happened to the kids?


Two weeks after the arrests by FBI agents, Moscow and Washington concluded an agreement.


As stated by the representative of the Ministry of justice, after all ten of those arrested pleaded guilty, admitting that it was the Russian agents, the United States agreed to transfer them to Russia for detention in its territory. In response, Moscow has agreed to release “four people” who were “imprisoned in Russia on charges of contacts with Western intelligence agencies”.


Kate and Lisa, who were born in the United States, later together with his parents went to Russia. In 2010, U.S. attorney General Eric holder (Eric Holder) in the broadcast of Face the Nation on CBS said that the children Gurevych and all the other children of the Russian agents were “repatriated”.


“All this is very sad, says Bailey. Suddenly their lives are entirely changed. Children did not know Russian,… and they had suddenly, for no reason at all to leave, after parting with his friends…. And all they have now will be completely different”.


In 2010, a former FBI agent Eric O’neill (Eric O’neill), who has helped calculate who served in the FBI double agent Robert Hanssen (Robert Hanssen), said spies, working abroad, usually do not have children, because they may suffer as a result of “conflict of loyalty”.


“When you have children, you should take care of them. They should be in your life are most important. And the spy can’t do it,” said O’neill.


Living among us of other spies?


According to neighbors Gurevych, at a time when our neighborhood was full of Russian spies, all of this seemed like an odd relic and a reminder of the cold war.


Now, when the people of the streets Marquette road more often hear about the growing tensions between Russia and the United States, they say that the idea of Russian spies living in the neighborhood with the Americans, no longer seems so strange and unexpected. Some of them follow the course of the investigation, which now are the US authorities in connection with the Russian intervention in elections in 2016 and the possible collusion of Moscow with members of the electoral headquarters of Donald trump.


By the way, the current and former employees of American intelligence this month, told reporters of the TV channel CNN that Russian spies are stepping up their efforts to collect intelligence in the United States.


A former Soviet intelligence officer, an experienced agent of the KGB Oleg Kalugin said in an interview with CNN that “not be surprised” if he found out that in the United States continue to operate “illegal” deep undercover Russian spies. But he suspects that these events will now be held not as active as in 2010. Kalugin says he never directed the actions of the deeply conspiratorial “illegals” in the framework of such programs. He criticized them, calling them uneconomical and ineffective.


“It’s a dangerous job to be performed alone. And very complex,” he said.


One of the key pieces of evidence discovered by FBI agents in the case of the spies arrested in 2010, was the message sent Guriev Russian curators shortly before their arrest.


“You were sent to USA on a long business trip, — stated in the message. Your education, Bank accounts, car, house, etc — all these serve one goal: fulfill your main mission, i.e. to search and develop ties in political circles and send the info in TS.”.


“C” presumably stands for “Center” — located in Russia, coordination center for collecting, evaluating and analyzing intelligence information.


What will happen to the “spy house”


Beige two-story house, built in 1950, is typical of the area housing the middle class. Its area is about 180 square meters, and according to tax records of Essex County, this year local authorities have estimated it at 425,7 thousand dollars.


Since it’s been so long that “it’s hard to believe that it was,” says Bailey.


“Nature takes it home, returns it to itself — says her daughter Jessie Gugig. Ivy begins to grow inside the house, destroying it. The garden is completely overgrown”.


“The house is standing and empty. As an eternal reminder,” she adds.


Elizabeth Lapin, who lives next door to this house for 11 years, said that before the RAID, FBI agents, the locals were friendlier. “Before this, I liked everything here — the neighborhood and neighbors,” she says.


But still the atmosphere is slowly recovering, she says. After the RAID some of her neighbors have left, and instead of them settled here in new tenants who have the house with spies not associated.


According to a local realtor, the house was recently sold.


Maybe soon this house will come a new family, which will help the residents of Montclair to end it all and forget about the fact that the house is associated with international espionage.