They were the spies next door: Ten Russians, arrested last year in a flashback to the Cold War.
As it turns out, the FBI was on to them for a decade, as they lived seemingly normal lives in the U.S. On Monday, the Bureau put out a trove of surveillance tapes.
CBS News correspondent Bob Orr watched the tapes, and reports there are interesting tidbits therein, especially about the infamous "sexy spy" Anna Chapman.
In June, 2010, Anna Chapman visited a New York coffee shop to get help with a computer from her Russian handler. But, she didn't know that handler was an undercover FBI agent and the meeting was being secretly recorded.
"The FBI undercover agent was so convincing that Anna Chapman actually handed over her covert laptop to the FBI undercover agent," said Frank Figliuzzi, the FBI's top counter-intelligence agent.
The FBI was also watching with video and still cameras when Russian spies Richard Murphy and Mike Zottoli met on a Brooklyn street.
And again, when Chapman shopped for leggings, hats and jewelry inside Macy's as a Russian official paced outside.
The surveillance tapes document the FBI's ten-year effort, called "Ghost Stories," to track ten Russian spies who'd burrowed deep inside American culture.
It's clear the FBI was also patient. Agents took these still pictures of a buried package containing $60,000 that a Russian operative had planted in a rural field in New York state.
Two years later, video cameras recorded one of the spies retrieving the treasure.
Officials say the tradecraft was sophisticated but compromised.
One video shows spy Mikhail Semenko leaving a package in a Cold-War style dead-drop, under a bridge in Arlington, Virginia. Still another camera captured a classic "brush-by" payoff.
In another tape, the FBI says $250,000 changed hands in a brief encounter on a subway staircase.
The Russian spies were under orders to get inside the power circles of Washington, to get fresh intel on U.S. policies. It's not clear they stole anything, but when they got closer, the FBI decided to bust the operation.