OverviewPERSERECEspionage Cases1990-92

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1990 - 1992

1992 - JOSEPH GARFIELD BROWN, former US airman and martial arts instructor, was arrested by FBI agents on 27 December 1992, and charged with spying for the Philippine government. Brown allegedly provided an official there with illegally obtained secret CIA documents on Iraqi terrorist activities during the Persian Gulf War and assassination plans by a Philippine insurgent group. The former US airman was arrested at Dulles International Airport after being lured to the US from the Philippines by undercover FBI agents with the promise of a job teaching self-defense tactics to CIA agents. On the following day he was indicted on three counts of espionage in Federal court in Alexandria, Virginia. Brown enlisted in the US Air Force in 1966 and served until 1968. He continued to reside in the Philippines, working as a martial arts instructor for the Department of Tourism until the time of his arrest. He is accused of obtaining classified documents in 1990 and 1991 in Manila from CIA secretary, VIRGINIA JEAN BAYNES, and passing them to a Philippine government official. An FBI spokesman stated that Baynes pleaded guilty to espionage in Federal court on 22 May 1992, and served a 41-month prison term. The FBI began its investigation in April 1991 after an internal CIA inquiry determined that Baynes, who joined the agency in 1987 and who was assigned two years later to the embassy in Manila, had passed two or three classified documents to Brown. Baynes had met Brown when she enrolled in a karate class which he taught at an embassy annex. According to Baynes, as the friendship between her and Brown grew in the late summer of 1990, he asked her to obtain CIA information on assassinations planned by an insurgent group that were to be carried out in the Philippines. In a wish to please Brown, Baynes, who held a Top Secret clearance, complied with his request by removing secret documents from the embassy. Brown, motivated by the hope of acquiring money for his espionage, pleaded guilty in April 1993 to a charge of conspiring to commit espionage by delivering secret CIA documents to a Philippine government official. He was sentenced to nearly six years in prison.

Los Angeles Times 29 Dec 1992, “Ex-US Airman Charged With Espionage”
Washington Post 6 Jan 1993, “Spy Charge Played Down by Official"


1992 - JEFFREY STEPHEN RONDEAU, a US Army sergeant stationed at Bangor, Maine, was arrested in Tampa, Florida, on 22 October 1992, and charged with espionage for providing Army and NATO defense secrets, including tactical nuclear weapons plans, to intelligence agents of Hungary and Czechoslovakia from 1985 through 1988. Rondeau was allegedly part of the Conrad spy ring which operated out of the 8th Infantry Division, Bad Kreuznach, Germany, in the mid-1980s. A German court convicted former US Army sergeant CLYDE LEE CONRAD of high treason in 1990 and sentenced him to life in prison. The inquiry into Rondeau's involvement was aided by the cooperation of RODERICK JAMES RAMSAY. In 1991, Ramsey, also a former Army sergeant stationed in Germany, was sentenced to 36 years in prison by an American court for his involvement in the ring. As a recognition signal, Ramsay reportedly gave Rondeau a torn dollar bill to use when dealing with others in the plot. The US Attorney for the Middle District of Florida said, “The espionage charge in this case is especially serious because it related to the allied defense of Central Europe including the use of tactical nuclear weapons and military communications.” The three-count indictment of Rondeau charged that he conspired with Conrad, Ramsay, and others to “copy, steal, photograph, and videotape” documents and sell them to Hungary and Czechoslovakia. The indictment did not specify what amount of money he may have received. On 28 March 1994, Rondeau pleaded guilty to espionage. In June, 1994, Rondeau, along with Sgt. JEFFERY EUGENE GREGORY, another member of the espionage ring, was sentenced by a military court to 18 years in prison.

Houston Chronicle 23 Oct 1992, “US Soldier is Charged with Spying”
Atlanta Constitution 23 Oct 1992, “Soldier Accused of Selling NATO Plans to Communists”


1991 - CHARLES LEE FRANCIS ANZALONE, a 23-year old Marine corporal stationed in Yuma, Arizona, was arrested 13 February 1991 after a four-month investigation and charged with suspicion of attempted espionage. In November 1990, Anzalone, a telephone lineman, called the Soviet Embassy in Washington to offer his services as a spy (under the pretext of asking about a college scholarship). An FBI agent posing as a KGB intelligence officer contacted Anzalone who passed him two technical manuals about cryptographic equipment, a security badge, and guard schedules. Anzalone, who is part Mohawk, told the agent that he hated capitalism, the American government, and held a grudge against the nation's treatment of native Americans. Anzalone testified that his offering to spy was a ruse to get money from the Soviets. On 3 May 1991, Anzalone was found guilty of attempted espionage. He was also convicted of adultery with the wife of another Marine stationed in the Persian Gulf, and of possession and use of marijuana. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

San Diego Union 2 May 1991, “Tape Shows Marine and Soviet Spy”
Los Angeles Times 4 May 1991, “Marine Guilty in Spying Case”


1991 - JEFFREY M. CARNEY, former intelligence specialist with the Air Force, was apprehended in 1991 in East Berlin on charges of espionage after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Carney entered the Air Force in December 1980. From April 1982 to April 1984 he was stationed at Tempelhof Central Airport in Berlin where he was a linguist and intelligence specialist. He was assigned to an electronics security group that worked for NSA and eavesdropped on communications of Eastern Bloc countries. While at Tempelhof, he began copying classified documents which he then provided to the East German Ministry for State Security (Stasi) by repeatedly crossing back and forth into East Berlin. In 1984 he was transferred to Goodfellow AFB in Texas where he worked as a language instructor while continuing to spy for East Germany. In 1985, perhaps fearing that he would be caught for his espionage activities, he deserted the Air Force and defected to East Germany. There he continued to aid the Communist government by intercepting and translating official telephone communications of US military commanders and embassy officials in Berlin. Carney had apparently become disillusioned with the Air Force. He later claimed to have been lonely, alienated, and under psychological stress, and he felt he had no one to talk to about his problems. He had intended to defect to East Germany on his first crossing, but he allowed himself to be drawn into espionage by East German agents who expertly manipulated him and claimed his complete loyalty. The break in the case came after the fall of the Berlin Wall in November 1989, when many Stasi records became available to foreign investigators. In April 1991 he was arrested by Air Force OSI agents at his residence in what used to be in the Soviet sector of Berlin. After being extensively debriefed, Carney pleaded guilty to charges of espionage, conspiracy, and desertion and was sentenced in December 1991 to 38 years in prison. He was released in 2003, after serving 11 years of what eventually became a reduced sentence of 20 years.

Cincinnati Post 21 Dec 1991, “US Spy Gets 38 Years”
Air Force Times 6 Jan 1992, “Ex-Intelligence Specialist Guilty of Spying”
Telegraph (UK) 7 Jul 2003, “Nobody Wants the American Who Gave Secrets to the Stasi”


1991 - ALBERT T. SOMBOLAY, a specialist 4th class with the Army artillery, pleaded guilty in July 1991 to espionage and aiding the enemy. He was tried by military judge in Baumholder, Germany, and sentenced to confinement at hard labor for 34 years, reduction to E-1, forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and dishonorable discharge. Sombolay was born in Zaire, Africa. He became a US citizen in 1978 and entered the Army in 1985 as a cannon crewman. In December 1990, assigned to the 8th Infantry Division in Baumholder, Germany, he contacted the Iraqi and Jordanian embassies to volunteer his services in support of the “Arab cause.” To the Jordanian Embassy in Brussels he passed information on US troop readiness and promised more information to include videotapes of US equipment and positions in Saudi Arabia. He told the Jordanians that he would be deployed to Saudi Arabia and could provide them useful information. To the Iraqi Embassy in Bonn, Germany, he offered the same services, but the embassy did not respond. On 29 December, Sombolay's unit was deployed to Saudi Arabia, as part of Desert Shield, without him. Still in Germany, Sombolay continued to contact the Iraqis and provided a Jordanian representative several items of chemical warfare equipment (chemical suit, boots, gloves, and decontamination gear). His activity was discovered by US Army military intelligence. After Sombolay's arrest in March 1991, he admitted to providing Desert Shield deployment information, military identification cards, and chemical protection equipment to Jordanian officials. His motivation was money.

Huntsville Times 4 Dec 1991, “Army Spy Sentenced to 34 Years”
Cincinnati Post 7 Dec 1991, “Anatomy of a Spy”


1990 - RONALD HOFFMAN, was working as a general manager at Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), in Century City, California, when his dissatisfaction with his salary led him to create a sideline business called “Plume Technology” at home. Hoffman had worked on a software program called CONTAM, developed at SAIC under classified contract for the Air Force, which could classify rockets upon launch from their exhaust contrails and respond with appropriate countermeasures. The software also had application for the design of spacecraft, guided missiles, and launch vehicles. In 1986 he contacted Japanese companies working with Japan’s space program and offered to sell them entire CONTAM modules—“data, components and systems, expertise in the field, and training for employees in use of the system.” Four Japanese companies, including Nissan and Mitsubishi, bought the classified software from Hoffman for undercover payments that totaled over $750,000. He also tried to develop customers in Germany, Italy, Israel, and South Africa. Late in 1989, his secretary at SAIC noticed a fax addressed to Hoffman from Mitsubishi that asked for confirmation that their payment into his account had been received. Adding this to her knowledge of Hoffman’s lavish lifestyle, she took her suspicions and a copy of the fax to SAIC’s chief counsel. Confronted, Hoffman resigned on the spot and left, but returned to his office during the night when a security video camera captured him carrying out boxes of CONTAM documents. In a joint Customs and Air Force sting operation, investigators posed as South African buyers and documented Hoffman trying to sell them CONTAM modules without an export license. Hoffman was arrested 14 June 1990 and convicted early in 1992 of violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act. He was sentenced on 20 April 1992 to 30 months in prison and fined $250,000.

Bosseler, S.J. Affidavit, U.S. District Court, “U.S. v. Ronald Hoffman,” 15 June, 1990. U.S. v. Hoffman 10 F 3d 808 (9th Cir. 1993).
Chicago Tribune 22 Apr 1992, “U.S. Scientist Faces Jail in Sale of Star Wars Software”


1990 - RODERICK JAMES RAMSAY, a former US Army sergeant, was arrested in Tampa, Florida, on 7 June 1990 and charged with conspiracy to commit espionage. Ramsay joined the Army in 1981 and was transferred to West Germany in June 1983 where he was recruited by then-Army Sgt. CLYDE LEE CONRAD. (Conrad was sentenced to life imprisonment in May 1990 for treason.) Ramsay received $20,000 for selling military secrets that could have caused the collapse of NATO—Top Secret plans for the defense of Central Europe, location and use of NATO tactical nuclear weapons, and the ability of NATO's military communications—that were passed to Hungary and Czechoslovakia. An FBI official said, “It's one of the most serious breaches ever—it's unprecedented what went over to the other side. The ability to defend ourselves is neutralized because they have all our plans.” Ramsay initially used a 35-millimeter camera to photograph classified documents, but then switched to more effective videotape. He reportedly recorded a total of about 45 hours of videotape. Ramsay is said to have a high IQ, is multilingual, and has the “ability to recall minute details, facts and figures from hundreds of volumes of documents.” The FBI described him as “brilliant but erratic.” In West Germany he worked as a clerk-typist in the 8th Infantry Division. When arrested he was unemployed, living sometimes at his mother's house and sometimes in his car. In September 1991 he pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. On 28 August 1992 he was sentenced to 36 years in prison. The sentence reflects his cooperation with investigators. According to the FBI, this case was the most extensive espionage investigation in the history of the FBI and considered to be the largest US espionage conspiracy case in modern history.

Los Angeles Times 9 Jun 1990, “Alleged Spy Called Brilliant, Erratic”
Washington Times 29 Aug 1992 “Spying Sergeant Gets 36 Years”
DoD Security Institute, Security Awareness Bulletin, No. 1-97, January 1997, “Profile of a Spy”


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