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1994 - ALDRICH HAZEN AMES, CIA intelligence officer and his Colombian-born wife MARIA DEL ROSARIO CASAS AMES, were arrested 21 February 1994, after various attempts since 1985 to identify a mole in the CIA. The arrests followed a 10-month investigation that focused on Rick Ames. He was charged with providing highly classified information to the Soviet KGB and later, to its successor, the Russian SVR, over a nine-year period. From 1983 to 1985, Ames had been assigned to the counterintelligence unit in the agency's Soviet/East European Division, where he was responsible for directing the analysis of Soviet intelligence operations. In this capacity he would have known about any penetration of the Soviet military or the KGB. According to press reports, the trail that led to the arrest of Ames and his wife began in 1987 after the unexplained disappearance or deaths of numerous US intelligence sources overseas. According to court documents, Ames' information allowed the Russians to close down at least 100 intelligence operations and led to the execution of the agents in Russia that he betrayed. Despite reports of alcohol abuse, sexual misconduct, and repeated security violations, Ames was promoted into positions at the CIA that allowed him to steal increasingly sensitive information while he was spying for the Soviets. Facing alimony payments and the financial demands of his new wife, Rosario, in April 1985 Ames decided to get money by volunteering to spy for the Russians. He first contacted the KGB by dropping a note at the Soviet Embassy. Over his nine years of espionage activity, he removed bags of documents from CIA facilities, without challenge, and deposited them at dead drops around Washington or met his handlers at meetings around the world. Ames reportedly received up to $2.5 million from the Russians over this period of time. Reports of the couple's high-rolling life style included the cash purchase of a half-million dollar home, credit card bills of $455,000, and a new Jaguar sports car. But despite his unexplained affluence, Ames’ story that his wife had wealthy relatives in Colombia satisfied doubts about his income for years, until a CIA counterintelligence investigator finally checked the cover story with sources in Colombia. A search of Ames' office uncovered 144 classified intelligence reports not related to his current assignment in CIA's Counternarcotics Center. The Director of Central Intelligence reported to Congress that Ames’ espionage caused “severe, wide-ranging, and continuing damage to US national security interests,” making Ames one of the most damaging spies in US history. He provided the Soviets, and later the Russians, with the identities of 10 US clandestine agents (at least nine of whom were executed), the identities of many US agents run against the Russians, methods of double agent operations and communications, details on US counterintelligence operations, identities of CIA and other intelligence personnel, technical collection activities, analytic techniques, and intelligence reports, arms control papers, and the cable traffic of several federal departments. On 28 April 1994, Aldrich Ames and his wife pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit espionage and to evading taxes. Ames was immediately sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. Under the plea agreement, Maria Rosario Ames was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for conspiring to commit espionage and evading taxes on $2.5 million obtained by her husband for his illegal activities.
New York Times 22 Feb 1994, “Ex-Branch Leader of C.I.A. is Charged as a Russian Agent”
Washington Post 23 Feb 1994, “CIA Officer Charged With Selling Secrets”
Washington Post 25 Feb 1994, “Accused Couple Came From Different Worlds”
U.S. Senate Select Committee 1 Nov 1994, “An Assessment of the Aldrich H. Ames Espionage Case and on Intelligence Its Implications for U.S. Intelligence”
Washington Post 27 Dec 1994, "Ames Says CIA Does Not Believe He Has Told All"
Washington Post 11 Jun 1995, “The Man Who Sold the Secrets”
Los Angeles Times 22 Oct 1994, "Wife of CIA Double Agent Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison"
1980 - DAVID HENRY BARNETT, a CIA officer, was indicted 24 October 1980 for having sold to the Soviet Union details of one of the CIA's most successful undercover operations, code-named “Habrink.” Following a tour of duty in Indonesia between 1967 and 1970, Barnett resigned from the CIA to enter private business. In late 1976, faced with failure and debts of $100,000, he offered to sell classified information to the KGB. Barnett handed over full details of Habrink to the KGB, including CIA information on the Soviet SA-2 surface-to-air missile and the Whiskey class diesel-powered submarine. He also revealed the names of 30 CIA intelligence officers as well as the identities of informants recruited by the CIA. In all, Barnett was paid approximately $92,000 by the KGB for information supplied between 1976 and 1977. US agents reportedly spotted Barnett meeting the KGB in Vienna in April 1980; he was questioned by the FBI upon his return to the US. Barnett entered a plea of guilty and received an 18-year sentence. He was paroled in 1990.
New York Times 23 Oct 1980, “Alleged Spy Sought 2nd Post, Aides Say”
New York Times 30 Oct 1980, “Ex-Agent of C.I.A. Pleads Guilty”
Washington Post 30 Oct 1980, “Ex-CIA Agent Pleads Guilty to Spying”
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"
1985 - LARRY WU-TAI CHIN, retired CIA employee, was arrested 22 November 1985 and accused of having carried out a 33-year career of espionage on behalf of the People's Republic of China. According to media reports, Chin, who retired in 1981 at 63, had been an intelligence officer in the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service. During his career, he held a Top Secret clearance and had access to a wide range of intelligence information. Born in Peking, Chin was recruited by communist intelligence agents while a college student in the early 1940s. He worked for the US Army Liaison Office in China in 1943 and later became a naturalized US citizen, joining the CIA in 1952. It is believed that he provided the PRC with many of the CIA's Top Secret reports on the Far East written over 20 years. Chin reportedly smuggled classified documents from his office, and between 1976 and 1982 gave photographs of these materials to Chinese couriers at frequent meetings in Toronto, Hong Kong, and London. He met with Chinese agents in the Far East up to March 1985, prior to his arrest in November. Chin may have received as much as $1 million for his complicity. He was indicted on 17 counts of espionage-related and income tax violations. It is reported that Chin was identified as a Chinese agent by a Chinese intelligence officer who defected to the US. At his trial which began on 4 February 1986, Chin admitted providing the Chinese with information over a period of 11 years, but he claimed he did so to further reconciliation between China and the US. On 8 February, Chin was convicted by a Federal jury on all counts. Sentencing had been set for 17 March; however, on 21 February the former CIA employee committed suicide in his cell.
Washington Post 24 Nov 1985, “Ex-CIA Employee Held as 33-Year China Spy”
New York Times 30 Nov 1985, “Huge Data Loss from China is Seen from Espionage”
Washington Post 6 Dec 1985, “Chin Believed Planted in US as Spy”
New York Times 11 Feb 1986, “C.I.A.’s Security was Lax, According to Convicted Spy”
1998 - DOUGLAS FREDERICK GROAT, former CIA officer, was arrested on 3 April 1998 and charged with passing sensitive intelligence information to two foreign governments and attempting to extort over $500,000 from the CIA in return for not disclosing additional secrets. Groat had been placed on a three-year paid administrative leave in the spring of 1993 after the agency felt he posed a security risk, reportedly involving a discipline or job performance issue. Apparently Groat first attempted to extort money from the CIA in May 1996 and was fired the following October. During a 16-year career at the CIA, Groat participated in intelligence operations aimed at penetrating the secret codes and communication systems employed by foreign governments. Groat, a cryptographic expert, was reported to have revealed classified information to two undisclosed governments regarding the targeting and compromise of their cryptographic systems in March and April 1997. For Groat, it was “very much a case of pure revenge,” said a Federal official, explaining that the former intelligence officer had long felt slighted and abused by the CIA because he had never been given the assignments he thought he deserved. Groat is reported to have not received any money from the foreign governments for the information passed. The former CIA employee pleaded guilty to one count of attempted extortion 27 July, and was sentenced 27 September to five years’ confinement followed by three years’ probation. According to news reports, the sharp reduction from the original four-count espionage charge and the limited penalties reflected the government's desire to avoid a trial in which damaging classified information might have been disclosed.
Washington Times 4 Apr 1998, “Former CIA Officer Charged With Spying; Pleads Not guilty in Extortion, Codes Case”
Washington Post 28 Jul 1998, “Ex-CIA Operative Pleads Guilty to Blackmail Attempt at Agency”
Washington Post 26 Sep 1998, "Ex-CIA Agent Given 5 Years in Extortion Case; Former Operative Admitted Demanding $1 Million in Return for Not Disclosing Secrets"
1985 - EDWARD LEE HOWARD, joined the CIA in 1981. In January 1982 he was assigned to the Soviet/East European Division for training as a case officer in Moscow. He had been given all the data needed to work in Moscow: names of agents, surveillance operations, and the identities of other CIA officers in the Soviet Union. Just as he was about to leave for Moscow in June 1983, he failed his polygraph tests on matters concerning marital relations, petty theft, drinking, and a pattern of past drug use. Asked to resign, he left bewildered and angry. He finally made contact with Soviet officials in Washington, DC, and arranged a meeting in Vienna. He met with KGB officers on three trips to Vienna between 1984 and 1985 and received payment for classified information. Meanwhile, he moved to New Mexico and began working for the New Mexico legislature as a budget analyst. According to news reports, Howard was one of several CIA employees identified by Soviet defector Vitaly Yurchenko as having sold classified information to the KGB. (Yurchenko also identified Ronald Pelton, former NSA employee, who later was arrested for espionage.) Although placed under surveillance by the FBI at his Albuquerque home, Howard, who had been trained by the CIA in surveillance and evasion tactics, eluded spotters and fled the country. He was followed by the FBI as he moved swiftly from country to country, traveling on his credit card and always ahead of the agents. On 7 August 1986, the Soviet news agency Tass announced that Howard had been granted political asylum in the USSR. He reportedly revealed to the KGB the identity of a valuable US intelligence source in Moscow. It is also reported that five American diplomats were expelled from the Soviet Union as personae non gratae as a result of information provided by Howard. He was the first CIA officer to defect to the USSR. He died in 2002 after falling down the steps of his dacha outside Moscow.
Washington Post 3 Oct 1985, “2 Ex-CIA Agents Sought by FBI as Possible Spies”
Washington Post 5 Oct 1985, “Affidavit Says Ex-CIA Agent Met High-Level KGB Officers”
Washington Post 20 May 1986, “The CIA Agent Who Sold Out”
Washington Post 18 Jul 1986, “5 American Diplomats Caught by KGB”
Newsday 26 Oct 1986, “Why Edward Lee Howard Sold Out for Money and Revenge”
Newsweek 23 May 1988, “The Spy Who Got Away”
NSI Advisory 1 Aug 2002, “CIA Defector Dies”
Minnick. W.L., Spies and Provocateurs, 1992
1978 - WILLIAM KAMPILES, served as a watch officer at the CIA Operations Center from March to November 1977. He was arrested in August 1978 on charges he stole a Top Secret technical manual on the KH-11 (“Big Bird”) reconnaissance satellite and later sold it for $3,000 to a Soviet agent in Athens, Greece. According to press reports, the satellite was used to monitor troop movements and missile installations in the Soviet Union. Kampiles had resigned from the CIA in November 1977, disappointed at having been told that he was not qualified for work as a field agent (he fervently wished to join the covert part of CIA operations). Before leaving the agency, he smuggled out of the building a copy of the KH-11 manual. He proceeded to Greece in February 1978 where he contacted a Soviet military attaché. Kampiles was the son of Greek immigrants and had family connections in that country. He claimed to have conned the Russians out of a $3,000 advance for the promise of classified information and on his return to the US bragged to friends about his exploits. About this time the CIA was investigating possible leaks concerning the KH-11, since the Soviets were beginning to take countermeasures against the collection platform. Kampiles’ identification as a suspect in part followed receipt of a letter to a CIA employee from Kampiles in which he mentioned frequent meetings with a Soviet official in Athens. He hoped to be rehired by the CIA and admitted during a job interview that he had met with Soviet agents in Athens in what he intended as a disinformation exercise to prove his abilities as a first-rate agent. CIA counterintelligence was concerned by these reports and contacted the FBI, who questioned Kampiles until he confessed the theft of the manual and its sale to the Soviets. The former CIA employee maintained that his objective had been to become a double agent. He was sentenced on 22 December to 40 years in prison.
Washington Post 23 Aug 1978, “CIA ‘Big Bird’ Satellite Manual Allegedly Sold to Soviets”
New York Times 12 Nov 1978 “Spy Trial Focusing on Security in C.I.A.”
New York Times 23 Dec 1978, “Ex-Clerk of C.I.A. Gets 40 Years in Sale of Space Secrets to Soviets”
Washington Post Magazine 4 Dec 1983, “Spy Rings of One”
Minnick, W.L., Spies and Provocateurs, 1992
1984 - KARL FRANTISEK KOECHER, a former CIA employee, and his wife, were arrested 27 November 1984 as they were preparing to fly to Switzerland. At the time, he was believed to be the first foreign agent to have penetrated the CIA, having operated successfully as an “illegal” for Czech intelligence for 19 years. In 1962 Koecher was trained as a foreign agent by Czech intelligence. He and his wife staged a phony defection to the US in 1965 and soon became known as an outspoken anti-Communist member of the academic community in New York City. Both became naturalized citizens in 1971 and Koecher obtained a translator job with the CIA two years later where he translated Top Secret materials until 1975. Koecher, who claimed that he was a double agent, was arrested after being observed making frequent contact with KGB operatives. According to Federal prosecutors, Mrs. Koecher operated as a paid courier for Czech intelligence until 1983. An FBI agent testified that from February 1973 to August 1983, Karl Koecher passed on to Czech agents highly classified materials including names of CIA personnel. However, the case never came to trial. On 11 February 1985, Koecher was exchanged in Berlin for Soviet dissident Anatoly Shcharansky. The Koechers’ motivation was primarily loyalty to their country, but also included the prospect of money and perhaps even the thrill of being double agents.
New York Times 28 Nov 1984, “Man Charged with Passing State Secrets”
New York Times 5 Dec 1984, “Wife is Held in Contempt of Court for Refusing to Testify"
New York Times 13 Jan 1985, “Intrigue and Countercharges Mark Case of Purported Spies”
Washington Post 17 Apr 1988, “Moscow Mole in the CIA”
1976 - EDWIN G MOORE II, a retired CIA employee, was arrested by the FBI in 1976 and charged with espionage after attempting to sell classified documents to Soviet officials. A day earlier, an employee at a residence for Soviet personnel in Washington, DC, had discovered a package on the grounds and turned it over to police, fearing it was a bomb. The package was found to contain classified CIA documents and a note requesting that $3,000 be dropped at a specified location. The note offered more documents in exchange for $197,000. Moore was arrested after picking up what he thought to be the payment at a drop site near his home. A search of his residence yielded 10 boxes of classified CIA documents. Moore retired from the CIA in 1973 and, although financial gain was a strong motivational factor leading to espionage, it is known that he was disgruntled with his former employer due to lack of promotion. Moore pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was granted parole in 1979.
Washington Post 13 Apr 1977, “Thought He Was on Assignment for CIA”
Washington Post 25 Apr 1977, “Trial of Ex-Agent...”
Washington Post 6 May 1977, “Moore Guilty of Trying to Sell CIA Files”
1996 - HAROLD JAMES NICHOLSON, was arrested on 16 November 1996 at Dulles International Airport as he was about to board a flight to Switzerland. On his person were found rolls of film bearing images of Top Secret documents. Nicholson is the highest ranking Central Intelligence Agency officer (GS-15) charged with espionage to date. Counterintelligence officials believe that he began spying for Russian intelligence in June 1994 as he was completing a tour of duty as deputy station chief in Malaysia. He joined the agency in 1980 after serving as a captain in the US Army. Nicholson was charged with passing a wide range of highly classified information to Moscow, including biographic information on every CIA case officer trained between 1994 and 1996. He is also suspected of having compromised the identities of US and foreign business people who have provided information to the CIA. According to investigators, for two and a half years he had been hacking into the agency’s computer system and providing the Russians with every secret he could steal. It is alleged that Nicholson received approximately $120,000 from the Russians over a two-year period. He came under suspicion in late 1995 when he failed a series of polygraph examinations. Further investigation revealed a pattern of extravagant spending, and an unusual pattern of foreign travel followed by large, unexplained bank deposits. Nicholson, who at the time was in the middle of a divorce and child custody battle, claimed that he did it for his children and to pay his bills. On 21 November 1996 he was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit espionage. On 3 March 1997, Nicholson pleaded guilty under a plea agreement in which he admitted that he had been a Russian spy. On 6 June he was sentenced by a Federal judge to 23 years and seven months in prison. This reduced sentence reflected his extensive cooperation with government investigators.
Los Angeles Times 19 Nov 1996, “Career CIA Officer Is Charged With Spying For Russia”
Los Angeles Times 21 Nov 1996, “Alleged Mole To Plead Not Guilty”
New York Times 4 Mar 1997, “C.I.A. Officer Admits Spying For Russians”
Washington Post 6 Jun 1997, “Convicted Spy Says He Did It For His Family”
1985 - SHARON MARIE SCRANAGE, operations support assistant for the CIA stationed in Ghana and her Ghanaian boyfriend, MICHAEL SOUSSOUDIS, were charged on 11 July 1985 with turning over classified information, including the identities of CIA agents and informants, to Ghanaian intelligence officials. It is reported that a routine polygraph test given to Scranage on her return to the US aroused CIA suspicions. Following an internal investigation, Scranage agreed to cooperate with the FBI in order to arrest Soussoudis, a business consultant and permanent resident of the US. According to one report, damaging information on CIA intelligence collection activities is likely to have been passed on by pro-Marxist Kojo Tsikata, head of Ghanaian intelligence, to Cuba, Libya, East Germany and other Soviet Bloc nations. Scranage was likely encouraged to pass along these documents by Soussoudis with whom she was intimately friendly. Indicted on 18 counts of providing classified information to a foreign country, Scranage subsequently pleaded guilty to one count under the espionage code and two counts of violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act. Fifteen remaining charges were dropped. On 26 November Scranage was sentenced to five years in prison. (This was later reduced to two years.) At the same time Soussoudis, who had been charged with eight counts of espionage, pleaded nolo contendere and was sentenced to 20 years. His sentence was suspended on the condition that he leave the US within 24 hours.
Washington Post 12 Jul 1985, “CIA Aide, Ghanaian Face Spy Counts”
Washington Post 14 Jul 1985, “Routine Polygraph Opened Ghanaian Espionage Probe”
Washington Post 20 Jul 1985, “FBI Says Spying Occurred After CIA Order on Ghanaian”