By ADRIAN SAINZ
Posted February 27 2007, 4:28 PM EST
MIAMI -- A college professor who pleaded guilty in a federal case
involving allegations that he and his wife spied for Cuba was sentenced
Tuesday to five years in prison.
Carlos Alvarez, 61, and his 56-year-old wife Elsa were sentenced on
reduced charges they received in a federal plea deal. Carlos Alvarez
also received three years probation.
Elsa Alvarez was sentenced to three years in prison and one year of
probation. That was the maximum sentence both could get.
``We are extremely upset,'' said the couple's son, also named Carlos
The case involved accusations of exchanging coded messages with Cuban
intelligence services about Cuban-American exile groups and prominent
figures in Miami. Prosecutors said Carlos Alvarez should receive the
maximum five years in prison because he did ``classic intelligence
work'' for Fidel Castro's communist government.
The former Florida International University professor's attorneys argue
he was never a Cuban intelligence agent or a supporter of Castro, and
that he was trying to open avenues of communication between the two
In December, Carlos Alvarez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to become an
unregistered foreign agent, while his wife admitted knowing about her
husband's illegal activities but failing to report them to authorities.
Both were charged previously with the more serious charge of acting as
illegal Cuban agents.