Robert Hanssen: Former FBI agent turned Russian spy found dead in Colorado supermax prison cell

FBI mugshot of Robert Hanssen.

FBI mugshot of Robert Hanssen. Credit: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)/Wikimedia Commons Public Domain

Robert Hanssen, a convicted former FBI agent who was serving multiple life sentences for spying on behalf of Russia, has been found dead in his prison cell.

The unresponsive body of the 79-year-old inmate was reportedly discovered just before 7 am this Monday, June 5, in his cell at the ADX supermax prison facility located in the Colorado city of Florence, Fremont County, as reported by the New York Times.

According to a statement released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, prison staff attempted to save Hanssen’s life but he was eventually pronounced dead by medical personnel.

Hanssen was found guilty in 2002 of carrying out espionage for both the Soviet and then Russian intelligence services. His spying activities included before and after the Cold War.

The former agent’s activities in handing over nuclear secrets are widely regarded as some of the most damaging in the history of America. Due to his involvement in counterintelligence, the agent had direct access to sensitive materials.

He operated under the alias of ‘Ramon Garcia’ when dealing with his handlers from Moscow, which began in 1985. It is believed that Hanssen collected in excess of $1.4m for his efforts, paid in diamonds and cash.

The FBI’s website lists Hanssen as having: “compromised numerous human sources, counterintelligence techniques, investigations, dozens of classified US government documents, and technical operations of extraordinary importance and value”.

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Written by

Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at