With friends like these…

Remember all that U.S.-Russia buddy-buddy stuff that was going on last week as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev visited the Bay Area – rubbing elbows with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in Silicon Valley and San Francisco – and Washington, D.C., where he split an order of fries with President Barack Obama?

Not so fast.

The U.S. Department of Justice just announced the arrests yesterday of 10 people who either allegedly were long-term, “deep-cover” secret agents for Russia or allegedly were involved with that intelligence ring.

Four couples and two individuals were arrested at their homes or other sites in Montclair, N.J.; Yonkers, N.Y.; New York City; Boston; and Arlington, Va. One defendant named in the two complaints remains at large.

All of the defendants are charged with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government without notifying the U.S. Attorney General, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. Nine of the 11 named defendants are also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering, punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • AJ

    It’s evidence of Barack Obama’s immaturity in foreign relations. Russians (Putin) are laughing at us & probably cracking racist wisecracks about Barack Obama.

  • John W

    Re: #1

    Jeesh, even when we bust up a deep cover spy network that was set up years ago on some other administration’s watch, somebody finds a way to turn it into an anti-Obama thing! Like they say, if Obama found a cure for cancer, he would be accused of a government takeover of health care.

    Just how does this show Obama’s immaturity in foreign relations? You think DOJ/FBI didn’t brief Obama beforehand? Obama carried on what I think was a productive bit of diplomacy with Medvedev, knowing all the while that this roundup was going down. Sounds pretty grown-up to me. I doubt Putin is laughing.

  • AJ

    John W

    It’s getting old to blame the Bush admin. He (Obama) knew about & yet he kissed ass! My exact point of his immaturity. Lay down & let All trample us is Obama’s motto. All our great presidents including JFK whom the Democrats (Russia / Cuba crisis) adore were strong men with courage & did not lay down like dogs to appease the world! Read history John. Diplomacy only works with strong force behind it which Obama has shown his has none.

  • AJ

    Also Obama knew but didn’t bring it up with Russian president Medvedev! Instead he bought him a burger & fries. It’s akin to a kid getting bullied by school tyrant & appeasing him by giving up his lunch money so that he wouldn’t be bothered again. You think the bully with stop now? Guess again! That’s diplomacy without force for all ya dreamers of utopia!

  • Tom

    How do you know Obama didn’t slip something in the burger and fries?