A former State Department Official and his wife were arrested today and charged with spying for the Cuban government for more than 30 years.
Walter and Gwendolyn Myers, 71 and 72, were taken into custody yesterday, and made appearances today at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, where their indictment was unsealed this afternoon. They are accused of aiding and abetting a foreign government and wire fraud, among other charges.
According to an affidavit accompanying the indictment, the couple was caught during a sting operation in April, in which an FBI agent posed as a member of the Cuban Intelligence Service. The agent arranged for Kendall Myers to acquire classified information about the upcoming Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago.
During the meetings, the couple allegedly acknowledged working with the Cuban government for more than three decades, and admitted their old code names — agents “202” and “123.” They also discussed the old shortwave radio given to them by the Cuban’s in order to transmit information via morse code.
According to the affidavit accompanying the indictment, Walter Myers, an army veteran and Johns Hopkins University PhD, was first recruited by Cuba during a visit to the island in 1978. At the time he was employed by the State Department’s Foreign Services Institute.
After returning from the island, he allegedly wrote that he had become “bitter” about the political situation in the United States, and that “watching the evening news is a radicalizing experience.”
“Everything one hears about Fidel suggests that he is a brilliant and charismatic leader,” he wrote. “Fidel has lifted the Cuban people out for the degrading and oppressive conditions which characterized pre-revolutionary Cuba. He has helped the Cubans to save their own souls. He is certainly one of the great political leaders of our time.”
According to the affidavit, a member of Cuban intelligence later met with the couple in South Dakota, where they were living. Myers eventually joined State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and allegedly used his position to access classified information and send it to Cuban intelligence. Between August 2006 and October 2007 alone, he viewed more than 200 intelligence reports related to Cuba, many of which were classified as secret and top secret.
During the sting operation, the couple allegedly explained that Walter Myers stayed at the state department because he was “not a very good liar,” and “you had to be a good liar to pass [the polygraph at the CIA].”
According to the indictment, the couple allegedly met with Fidel Castro himself in 1995.