According to NPR's Dina Temple-Raston, details about the exchange are sketchy, but it appears ten people the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested last month will be swapped for imprisoned spies in Russia:
Last month, the FBI arrested ten people it said were under deep cover and spying for the Russians in the U.S. Prosecutors said the group had been sent here years ago. Their assignment: to get close to policymakers and pass any information they provide back to Russian intelligence.
The group didn't uncover any secrets or pass them along, so they have been charged with illegally acting as an agent for a foreign country.
The newest twist in this modern spy tale is that a number of people in Russian prisons have been contacted about a potential swap — the ten agents here for some unknown number of U.S. spies there.
Officials tell NPR that details have yet to be worked out, but talks have been underway for days.
The New York Times reports "the mother of a Russian scientist convicted of spying for the United States said Wednesday that her son had been moved from a penal colony to Moscow in preparation for a possible trade."