U.S. authorities have deported a Russian man on charges of violating U.S. immigration laws, which, according to U.S. media reports, is linked to a recent spy scandal between Russia and the United States.
Spokesman for the U.S. Homeland Security Department Matt Chandler told RIA Novosti that a court ruling to deport Alexey Karetnikov was made on July 12.
Chandler said the man agreed to be deported, adding that he would face criminal charges if he tried to return to the United States.
The announcement comes just days after a spy scandal between Russia and the United States ended with a swap deal. Russia pardoned and released on Friday four prisoners jailed for spying activities against Russia in exchange for ten people recently accused by the United States of spying for Russia.
Earlier, the Wall Street Journal quoted an unidentified U.S. official familiar with the matter as saying that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation had been investigating the 23-year-old alleged Russian agent since last fall. His name then emerged in a decade-long espionage investigation that resulted in the recent detention of the 10 Russian "spies," the paper said.
The Wall Street Journal did not specify the man's name. According to the paper, he obtained a U.S. visa in August 2009.
No charges of spying on behalf of Russia were brought against the 23-year-old, the paper said.
WASHINGTON, July 14 (RIA Novosti)