Hector Cabrera Fuentes, a well-known Mexican scientist, pled guilty to spying on a U.S. official for the Russian government. During the investigation, it was discovered that Fuentes led a double life and had two families, one in Mexico City and the other in Russia.

The Mexican scientist was charged with one count of acting in the U.S. for a foreign government without the U.S. General knowing. Fuentes took a plea deal, and the prosecution suggested four years in prison. He will be officially sentenced on May 17.

The 35-year-old was arrested in Feb. 2020 at the Miami International Airport. His Mexican wife and him were trying to get a flight back to their home in Mexico City. According to reports, they had come to Miami to fulfill their spy mission.

Hector Cabrera Fuentes double life
Hector Cabrera Fuentes pled guilty for spying for the Russians. He was arrested in 2020 and according to reports he led a double life. (Credit: Facebook)

The FBI determined that a Russian government official had contacted Hector Cabrera Fuentes earlier in the year and convinced him to track down a U.S. government informant’s car and take a picture of it. It is unclear why the Russian official wanted this picture.

According to the FBI, they became aware of Fuentes and his mission when the couple was spotted taking a picture of a car at a Miami condominium. They were caught on surveillance tape tailgating the other vehicle as they drove into the parking lot.

The name of the U.S. informant was never released. Court documents identified him as a “confidential human source,” who had previously given information about Russian intelligence activities to U.S. officials.

After the couple’s arrest, it was revealed that Hector Cabrera Fuentes was leading a double life and had two families in two different countries. His strange spying mission started back in 2019 because of his second family in Russia.

According to reports, Fuentes’ Russian wife and two daughters, who originally lived in Germany, went to Russia to deal with some bureaucratic business. When they tried to leave, Russian officials wouldn’t let them out of the country.

Hector Cabrera Fuentes then flew to Russia in May 2019 to help his family. He was allegedly contacted by a Russian official, whom he had met previously, and the Russian man said, “we can help each other,” when it came to Fuentes’ family situation. Fuentes later told U.S. officials that he thought the Russian man was an intelligence officer.

Before his arrest, Hector Cabrera Fuentes worked in Singapore as an associate professor for a medical school that was run by Duke University and the National University of Singapore. He has double doctorates in molecular microbiology from Russia and molecular cardiology from Germany.

In 2018, he was appointed the director of FEMSA Biotechnology Center at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in the northern region of Mexico.

After his arrest, his association with the Singapore university was terminated.

People who knew the Mexican scientist are surprised that he was arrested for spying. He is known as a hometown hero in El Espinal and has helped the community rebuild homes after earthquakes and help the residents who suffered from diabetes and other ailments. He is also known for promoting scientific research throughout his community.

“It is very strange for this to happen because he is a very altruistic person with a lot of social conscience. He helped people and all this seems strange,” town Mayor Hazael Matus said. “We don’t know what happened, but I bet it is a confusion or an attack for scientific reasons. He may have discovered something that upset some people or some business interests.”