In the tony town of Montclair, New Jersey, the neighbors knew them as Richard and Cynthia Murphy, a working suburban couple with two young children. He claimed to be from Philadelphia, and she claimed to be a native New Yorker. Apparently, each of their identities is a carefully constructed persona to permit them to be part of a deep cover Russian spy operation.
The FBI arrested the couple on Sunday night, along with four other couples living in various cities in the United States. According to the U.S. Attorney’s office, they communicated with Russia by encrypting messages into websites and sending coded bursts of data via short wave radio transmitter. When Mrs. “Murphy” wasn’t sending encrypted messages to Russia, she was knocking down $135,000 per year as a financial analyst. Pretty good country, what?
If there is any good news, it’s that, they probably had to pony up somewhere around $15,000 per year in real estate tax for the privilege of living in Montclair, a bastion of liberalism, which no doubt helped them fit in.