Friday, November 20, 2009
Spies like them ...
Washington (CNN) -- A former State Department employee and his wife, accused of illegally aiding the government of Cuba for nearly 30 years, pleaded guilty Friday to federal charges.
Walter Kendall Myers, 72, pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit espionage and two counts of wire fraud. He agreed to forfeit $1.7 million related to the two counts of wire fraud and to serve a life prison sentence.
His wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, 71, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to gather and transmit national defense information. She agreed to serve a sentence of between 6 and 7½ years in prison.
The couple, who appeared in U.S. District Court on Friday, were captured June 4 after an FBI agent posing as a Cuban intelligence officer managed to coax them into offering information on U.S. government personnel, authorities said.
In a diary quoted in the federal affidavit released in June, Myers expressed his opinions on the flaws of the United States and the appeal of Cuba. "The abuses of our system, the lack of decent medical system, the oil companies and their undisguised indifference to public needs, the complacency about the poor, the utter inability of those who are oppressed to recognize their own condition ...," he wrote of the United States.
"Have the Cubans given up their personal freedom to get material security? Nothing I have seen yet suggests that," he wrote. "I can see nothing of value that has been lost by the revolution. The revolution has released enormous potential and liberated the Cuban spirit."
The indictment said Kendall Myers, known to Cuban intelligence as Agent 202, and Gwendolyn Myers, known as Agent 123 and Agent E-634, engaged in activities "which spanned nearly three decades."
Conviction on the wire fraud charge would carry a sentence of up to 20 years, illegally acting as an agent of a foreign government would carry a sentence of up to 10 years, and the conspiracy charge would carry a sentence of up to five years.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
Posted by Steve Douglass at 6:37 PM