OverviewPERSERECEspionage Casesmarines

Return to  HOME  DATES  NAMES  ORGANIZATIONS

Marine Corps

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”


1984 - ROBERT ERNEST CORDREY, a Marine private, was convicted 13 August 1984 by court-martial of 18 counts of attempting to contact representatives of communist countries for the purpose of selling classified information about nuclear, biological and chemical warfare. Cordrey had been an instructor at the Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Defense School at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The charges were not contested and the case was not disclosed to the public until January 1985 due to the extremely sensitive nature of the investigation. Apparently Cordrey attempted to contact Soviet, Czech, East German, and Polish agents. While his espionage efforts were thwarted, he attempted to sell classified information for the purpose of making money. He was sentenced to 12 years at hard labor by the military court; however, his pretrial agreement with prosecutors limited his jail term to two years.

New York Times 10 Jan 1985, “Marine Gets 12 Years At Spy Court-Martial"


1986 - CLAYTON JOHN LONETREE, Marine Corps security guard at the US Embassy in Moscow from September 1984 to March 1986, and later in Vienna, was placed under detention on 31 December 1986 after he acknowledged his involvement with a female KGB officer, Violette Seina, who had previously been a telephone operator and translator at the US Embassy in Moscow. Soon after their relationship began, Seina introduced Lonetree to her “Uncle Sasha” who was later identified by US intelligence as being a KGB agent. It was alleged at the time that Sgt. Lonetree had a sexual liaison with Seina, and had in fact allowed Soviet agents after-hours access to the US Embassy. In December 1986, Lonetree turned himself in to authorities at the US Embassy in Vienna, Austria, where he was stationed. Also arrested and charged with collaboration with Lonetree was Corporal Arnold Bracy who was also alleged to have been romantically involved with Soviet women. As the investigation proceeded, five other Marine guards were detained on suspicion of espionage, lying to investigators, or for improper fraternization with foreign nationals. Lonetree was tried on 13 counts including espionage. Among these counts were charges that he conspired with Soviet agents to gather names and photographs of American intelligence agents, to provide personality data on American intelligence agents, and to provide information concerning the floor plans of the US Embassies in Moscow and Vienna. On 21 August 1987 Lonetree was convicted of espionage and 12 related counts by a military court. Three days later he was sentenced to 30 years’ imprisonment, fined $5,000, loss of all pay and allowances, reduced to the rank of private, and given a dishonorable discharge. Espionage charges against Bracy and all of the other Marines have since been dropped. According to reports in late 1987, intensive investigations have led to the conclusion that the former guards did not, as earlier believed, allow Soviet agents to penetrate the US Embassy in Moscow. In May, 1988, Lonetree's sentence was reduced to 25 years, in 1992 to 20 years, and later to 15 years. In February 1996 he was released.

Washington Post 10 Feb 1987, “'Success Story' Marine May Face Trial for His Life”
Washington Post 30 Jul 1987, “Envoy Blamed for Lax Security”
Washington Post 17 Jan 1988, “Spy Scandal Snowballed, Melted Away”
Richmond Times-Dispatch 25 Feb 1996, "Lonetree May Find Stigma Lives On"
Naval Investigative Service Command, Espionage, 1989


2006 - GARY MAZIARZ, 37, a reserve gunnery sergeant in the Marine Corps, was arrested October 2006, accused of being part of a theft ring at Camp Pendleton, California. Documents stolen included classified computer files on potential terrorists that Mariarz shared with military reserve officers who worked with anti-terrorism units of police departments in Los Angeles County. One of the officers was a Marine reserve colonel and detective with the Los Angeles sheriff’s department, a counterterrorism specialist and allegedly the instigator of the enterprise; he was also the founder of the Los Angeles Terrorism Early Warning Group, a task force of law enforcement agencies. Maziarz pleaded guilty in July 2007 to mishandling more than 100 classified documents. He also named three senior reserve officers at Camp Pendleton, along with two sergeants who were charged in June 2008. The officers are still under investigation. There was no indication that any information had been passed to foreign agents. Mariarz claimed at his court-martial he knew his group was violating security regulations. But he said that he had acted out of patriotism in attempting to break down the bureaucratic walls between military and civilian agencies that he felt were hampering intelligence sharing and coordination and thus making the nation more vulnerable to terrorists. Indeed, transferring classified information to uncleared persons, even if they were employed by US agencies, was a clear violation of security rules. In July 2007 Mariarz was convicted. In a plea agreement he agreed, in exchange for a short 26-month prison sentence, to testify against his alleged co-conspirators and not to speak with the media. In November 2008, he broke his agreement by telling the San Diego Union-Tribune that “dozens of files” that were passed were dossiers on Muslims and Arabs living in Southern California. The FBI denies it monitors such groups. It was purely by chance that the theft ring was exposed. In October 2006 a colonel at Camp Pendleton reported to Navy special agents that trophy weapons, brought from Iraq by the Marines, were missing. An internal investigation focused on Maziarz, who had worked in Iraq. He had stockpiled the stolen goods in his apartment and in storage units in California and Virginia. Since investigators not only found stashes of Iraqi weapons and war memorabilia, but also classified documents, the investigation broadened to include espionage.

Washington Post 5 Jan 2007, “Theft Probe Leads to N. Va. Storage Site”
Secrecy News 12 Oct 2007, “Information Sharing, by Hook or by Crook”
San Diego Union-Tribune 18 Jul 2008, “2 Marines Charged in Secrets Theft Ring”
San Diego Union-Tribune 17 Nov 2008, “Former Marine Outlines Secret Dossiers; Muslims, Arabs Not Targeted, FBI Says”


1989 - FRANK ARNOLD NESBITT. The former Marine and Air Force communications officer was arrested by the FBI on 14 October 1989 and charged with delivering unauthorized information to the Soviet government. Nesbitt, a Memphis resident, left behind family and bewildered colleagues in June, appending a terse note to his weed trimmer ("I'm gone. Don't look for me."), and flew to Belize in Central America. Plans to settle there did not work out, so he moved on to Guatemala City where he enrolled in Spanish classes. In August while sightseeing in Sucre, Bolivia, he happened to board a bus full of Russian ballet dancers. He attended the ballet that evening and the next day bumped into a Soviet official traveling with the group. This meeting set in motion his trip to Moscow. From Sucre he went to La Paz where a Soviet Embassy official arranged for his flight to Moscow. Nesbitt claims he stayed 11 days in Moscow in a safe house, wrote from memory 32 pages detailing US defense communications, was polygraphed, toured the city, and met important KGB personnel. However, he grew upset over the Soviets' failure to grant him citizenship and provide him with an apartment and job. He returned, in a circuitous route, to Guatemala where he contacted US authorities who then accompanied him to Washington, DC. He was met by the FBI and arrested 11 days later. He offered his services as a double agent to the FBI claiming he did not give the Soviets any useful information. The National Security Agency, however, determined that information Nesbitt said he provided is still classified. The former communications officer served in the military between 1963 and 1966, and 1969 to 1979. On 8 November, he was indicted on a charge of conspiring with a Soviet agent to pass sensitive national defense information to the Soviet Union. Nesbitt initially pleaded innocent to espionage and conspiracy charges. If convicted, he faced a possible life sentence and fines up to $500,000. According to his lawyer, Nesbitt “wanted to have some excitement in his life,” but it is likely that he was also motivated by money and also a sense of disgruntlement. A Soviet foreign ministry spokesman has said that Nesbitt was denied Soviet citizenship because a check of the autobiography he gave the Soviet parliament “led to suspicion of his possible connections with the criminal underworld.” On 1 February 1990 Nesbitt changed his plea to guilty in order to receive a substantially reduced sentence. On 27 April he was sentenced in US District Court to 10 years in a psychiatric treatment facility at a Federal prison. His psychiatric evaluation states that he suffers from severe personality disorders.

Washington Post 15 Oct 1989, “Odyssey of a Suspected Spy; FBI Arrests Man in Va. After Moscow Trip”
Washington Post 17 Oct 1989, “No Bail for Alleged Spy”
Washington Post 20 Oct 1989, “Suspected Spy Sought to Defect, FBI Says”
Washington Post 2 Feb 1990, “Guilty Plea Entered in Secrets Case”
Washington Post 27 Apr 1990, “Ex-Officer Given 10 Years in Mental Hospital for Spying”


1982 - BRIAN EVERETT SLAVENS, Marine Corps PFC, reportedly deserted his sentry post at the Marine's Modified Advanced Undersea Weapons Command, Adak, Alaska. He advised his sister that he did not intend to return to the Marine Corps and that he had visited the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC, during late August/early September 1982. Slavens's father alerted the Marine Corps of his son's intent to desert, and abruptly Slavens was arrested by Naval Investigative Service Special Agents on 4 September 1982. During interrogation, Slavens admitted entering the Soviet Embassy in Washington, DC, and offering to provide information concerning the military installation where he worked in Adak. Slavens denied transferring any classified material to the Soviets, but explained that his intent was to sell US military information for $500 to $1,000. According to Slavens, he was actually inside the Soviet Embassy less than 30 minutes, during which time he was asked to provide an autobiographical sketch and to reconsider his actions. Slavens subsequently requested legal counsel, and his lawyer later agreed for Slavens to undergo a polygraph examination. Slavens was administered a polygraph exam on 5 September 1982, the results of which indicated that he did not disclose any classified information to the Soviets. On 24 November 1982, Slavens pleaded guilty to a charge of attempted espionage at a general court-martial held at Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. He was sentenced to two years’ confinement and forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and given a dishonorable discharge.

Naval Investigative Service Command, Espionage, 1989


Return to  HOME  DATES  NAMES  ORGANIZATIONS