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U.S. - Russian Spy Swap In The Works?

Ten suspected Russian spies are set to be arraigned Thursday in a New York federal court.

But as Tara Mergener reports some or all of them could soon be headed back home.

U.S. officials aren't saying whether one of the biggest spy swaps in decades is about to go down.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, "This is a law enforcement matter."

"Really I would have to refer you to the justice department," said U.S. State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner.

But according to the family of a Russian scientist convicted of spying for the U.S., that's exactly what's about to happen.

Dimitri Sutyagin told reporters Wednesday his brother Igor, accused of passing secrets to the CIA, is among the group of prisoners in Russia who could be traded as early as Thursday for the 10 alleged Russian spies recently arrested in the U.S.

The suspects are accused of living seemingly ordinary lives in America while acting as secret agents.

Tara Mergener reports, “U.S. officials would reportedly want some sort of confession before a swap takes place. Quick guilty pleas also mean both countries could avoid a high profile lengthy trial.”

Wednesday, the alleged spies arrested in Virginia and Boston were transferred to New York where all of them will be arraigned Thursday. American officials have also met with the Russian ambassador.

"What the tea leaves seem to suggest is you have a bundling of the individuals and the issues so if there is a deal to be struck it can be struck quite efficiently," said Juan Zarate, CBS News National Security Analyst.

The suspected deep cover agents, who the FBI watched for years, apparently didn't do much damage. In fact, officials say much of the information collected is widely available on the internet.


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