Cuba spies cooperating with U.S. authorities, officials say
By LESLEY CLARK
WASHINGTON -- Admitted spies Walter and Gwendolyn Myers have met with
federal officials 50 to 60 times to divulge details of their three
decades of spying for Cuba, Justice Department officials said Tuesday.
The Washington couple pleaded guilty in November to sending secrets to
the United States' longtime antagonist, agreeing to cooperate with the
federal government in a deal that offered Gwendolyn Myers a much lighter
sentence than she might have faced otherwise.
Walter Myers - a former State Department employee with top-secret
clearance - agreed to a life sentence without parole. Gwendolyn Myers
could have faced as much as 20 years in prison, but under the plea deal,
she might serve six to seven-and-a-half years.
U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton on Tuesday set a sentencing date
for July 16. The couple have asked Walton to place them in prisons as
close together as possible.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gordon Michael Harvey told Walton that the
government had expected the "debriefings" with the couple to take six
months, and that investigators were "still on track" and expected to
finish the talks in 30 to 40 days.
The couple appeared in Walton's courtroom Tuesday for the first time in
months. They were in seemingly good spirits, clad in dark blue jail
jumpsuits and long-sleeved white shirts. They didn't address the court.
They had said in November - through a lawyer - that they'd acted "not
out of selfish motive or hope of personal gain, but out of conscience
and personal commitment."
They have agreed to pay the government about $1.7 million, the salary
that Walter Myers earned while he worked at the State Department.
They'll forfeit their Washington apartment, a 37-foot sailboat, a
vehicle, and various bank and investment accounts.
They were charged last June with wire fraud, serving as illegal agents
for Cuba and conspiring to deliver classified information. Walter Myers
pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and two counts of wire
fraud. The espionage charge could carry a death sentence, but
prosecutors did not seek one.