Couple indicted on charges of spying for Cuba
- Couple indicted on charges of spying for Cuba
By NEDRA PICKLER
WASHINGTON A retired State Department worker with top secret security clearance and his wife have been indicted on charges of spying for Cuba over the past three decades.
The indictment unsealed Friday in Washington says Walter Kendall Myers and his wife, Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers, have been clandestine agents for Cuba since 1979. The pair were arrested Thursday.
The indictment says the couple met with Cuban President Fidel Castro in Cuba in 1995, traveling through Mexico under false names. They allegedly made several other trips to Latin America and the Caribbean to meet with Cuban agents.
David Kris, assistant attorney general for national security, described the couple's alleged spying for the communist government as "incredibly serious."
Authorities said the Myerses shared their views of Obama administration officials that had recently taken over responsibility for Latin American policy. They also accepted a device to encrypt future e-mail.
Kendall Myers, 72, worked at the State Department. Early in his career, he specialized in European issues at the agency's Foreign Service Institute. In 2007, he retired from department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.
The indictment says in his last year of employment, Kendall Myers viewed more than 200 intelligence reports related to Cuba.
The government said that Gwendolyn Myers revealed to investigators that her favorite places to pass information were Washington-area grocery stores.
Kendall Myers was known by the Cubans as Agent 202 and his wife went by both Agent 123 and Agent E-634, according to the indictment.
The two were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government and to communicate classified information to the Cuban government. Each is also charged with acting as an illegal agent of the Cuban government and with wire fraud.
The indictment says the couple own a shortwave radio, which they used to broadcast encrypted messages to the Cuban Intelligence Service using Morse code. In recent years, the documents say, they communicated through e-mail using a false name.
An undercover FBI agent approached them in April, pretending to be a Cuban spy. Court documents say the couple fell for the ruse and began meeting with the undercover agent at Washington hotels.
The indictment says the two agreed to be spies in 1979 after meeting with a Cuban government official while they were living in South Dakota. At Cuba's direction, authorities say, Kendall Myers attempted to get jobs that would give him access to classified information.
He applied for a position at the CIA in 1981. He didn't get the job but later was able to get work at the State Department, where his security clearance rose over the next two decades.
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