The FBI has arrested Vicky Peláez, a reporter and columnist for El Diario/La Prensa for the past 20 years. She is one of 10 people suspected of being Russian agents. She was arrested on Sunday night near her home in Yonkers, N.Y, along with her husband, Juan Lázaro, a retired political science professor.
According to CNN, the 10 suspects were charged with acting as agents of a foreign government and 9 were also charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering. The crimes carry a penalty of 5 to 20 years in prison.
The AP reports Peláez was videotaped in 2000 meeting with a Russian government official. A complaint indicates she received payment in exchange for information. Another, that she and her husband discussed ways to pass covert messages to Russian officials.
In a story published today in El Diario/La Prensa, her sons claim the accusation against their mother is “ridiculous.” The Spanish-language paper points out her arrest comes weeks after she wrote a column suggesting the Russians should use a nuclear bomb to solve the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
Peláez, who has often written columns critical of the United States, is a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Peru.