A U.S. Army doctor and his wife have been arrested by the FBI for attempting to provide classified information to Russia.
The pair was caught in an FBI sting operation in which federal agents pretended to be Russian intelligence officers.
Anna Gabrielian and her husband, U.S. Army Major Jamie Lee Henry, have been charged with conspiracy and for the disclosure of individually identifiable health information (IIHI). The two doctors wanted to assist the Russian government with the war in Ukraine.
Gabrielian worked at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, as an anesthesiologist while her husband was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and worked as a staff internist at the Womack Army Medical Center.
Fort Bragg is the home of the 82nd Airborne Division as well as of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command (USASOC).
“According to the eight-count indictment, Gabrielian and Henry conspired to cause harm to the United States by providing confidential health information of Americans associated with the United States government and military to Russia,” the Department of Justice said in a press release.
In her meeting with the FBI undercover special agent, Gabrielian said that she had tried to reach the Russian embassy before through email and phone in order to offer her and her husband’s services to Russia.
“Specifically, the indictment alleges that beginning on August 17, 2022, Gabrielian and Henry conspired to provide IIHI related to patients at Medical Institution 1 [Johns Hopkins Hospital] and at Fort Bragg to an individual they believed to be working for the Russian government in order to demonstrate the level of Gabrielian’s and Henry’s access to IIHI of Americans,” the Department of Justice added.
Gabrielian and Henry ultimately aimed to provide Russia with information on the medical conditions of individuals who work in the U.S. government or are in the military. Personal medical information can be used as leverage to coerce someone to spy or, in the more extreme spectrum, even to develop a bioweapon specifically for that person.
If convicted, the pair of doctors face a maximum sentence in federal prison of five years for the conspiracy and ten years for every count of medical information they disclosed. However, usually, federal crimes don’t get the maximum sentence.
Not the Only One
This is the latest spy scandal to rock the Johns Hopkins community.
A few weeks ago, the Dutch intelligence services intercepted Sergey Vladimirovich Cherkasov, an unregistered Russian intelligence officer who pretended to be a student from Brazil under the alias of “Victor Muller,” on his way to an internship with the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Cherkasov was a military intelligence officer with the Russian GRU, and he lived his cover story as an undergraduate student in Ireland and a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, D.C.
Expert Biography: A 19FortyFive Defense and National Security Columnist, Stavros Atlamazoglou is a seasoned defense journalist specializing in special operations, a Hellenic Army veteran (national service with the 575th Marine Battalion and Army HQ), and a Johns Hopkins University graduate. His work has been featured in Business Insider, Sandboxx, and SOFREP.