Redmond man with possible link to Russian spy ring deported

Redmond man with possible link to Russian spy ring deported »Play Video
SEATTLE -- Federal officials have deported a Redmond resident who may have ties to the recently-exposed secret Russian spy ring.

Alexey Karetnikov, 23, was deported to Russia on Tuesday after admitting "he was present in the United States in violation of immigration law and voluntarily agreed to deportation in lieu of further court proceedings," according to Matthew Chandler, a spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

Karetnikov was arrested in June 28 in Seattle, and detained until his Tuesday hearing, which was held in New York.

According to federal law enforcement officials, Karetnikov had been living in the Seattle area. A listing for Karetnikov was found under an address in Redmond.

Microsoft confirms Karetnikov worked as an intern in 2008, then was hired an entry-level software tester last year. The company would not elaborate on its former employee's duties, but said Karetnikov worked at Microsoft for less than a year, and no software was compromised.

A Redmond apartment manager, who only wished to be identified as "Lizzy," said Karetnikov was a former tenant in her building. She said she'd seen a surge in police activity in the area in recent months.

"I saw cop, cops coming around the side over there," she said, pointing to a side of her building."

Lizzy said she rarely saw Karetnikov, but often heard him coming and going.

"Wow, I'm living in an apartment, and the cops keeping coming here. And somebody living down there is watching everything; he's watching us -- that's really bothersome," she said.

Karetnikov's Facebook page indicates he married a woman in March 2009. There is no indication his wife accompanied him to the U.S.

No criminal charges were filed against Karetnikov due to insufficient evidence; however, a law enforcement official told ABC News the man's name surfaced during the probe.

Federal law enforcement officials say they investigated his activities thoroughly and had the U.S. government been able to bring prosecution against him, it would have.

Though he lived for a while little more than a dozen miles from one of the Russian agent couples who pleaded guilty and were deported, FBI agents never found any connection between Karetnikov and the couple, Michael Zottoli and Patricia Mills.

Zottoli and Mills, whose real names are Mikhail Kutsik and Natalia Pereverzeva, moved to Virginia last October, the same month that Karetnikov re-entered the United States to take the full-time Microsoft job.

Federal immigration authorities took Karetnikov into custody in Seattle on June 28, the day after the arrests of Zottoli, Mills and three other Russian agent couples who infiltrated suburban America and who were deported last week in exchange for four people convicted of betraying Moscow to the West.