• Robin Lyons

Not So Special


Russia, Russia, Russia is in the news a lot these days which may be why I thought about this case. For seven years, the Minnesota man served in the United States Army, promoting to the rank of Captain. After an honorable discharge, he became an inactive reservist for five years. His mother was Russian, which made him interested in Russia. When he was 19 years old, he’d visited Russia and continued to visit regularly over the years. He met his wife during one of his trips to Russia. His wife’s father served in the Russian military. A year after he and his wife married, he joined the U.S. Army. His first assignment was in Russia. He began meeting with Russian military officials and ultimately signed a statement pledging his allegiance to Russia. They assigned him a code-name to be used in communications. They instructed him to join special forces in the USA military. A few years in his military career, he completed special forces training which initiated his transfer to Germany. The Army granted him top secret clearance with Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCD) access. Over his time in special forces, he’d given the Russian intelligence service the numbers of soldiers in his unit, their locations and roles. Several times his Russian loyalty came into question, he always agreed to take a polygraph test—they never followed through with the test. He began receiving payments, gifts, and a Russian military uniform for his loyalty. To further validate his loyalty, he shared more classified information about special forces activities, field manuals, and locations in nearby countries. The U.S. Army became concerned about his possible connection with Russian intelligence which he always denied. The army continued to monitor his activity and arrested him for conspiring with Russian intelligence operatives to which he admitted. An assistant attorney general associated with the case said.


"He violated his oath as a U.S. Army officer, betrayed the Special Forces, and endangered our country's national security..."

A federal judge sentenced him to over fifteen years in prison. There's no early release from a federal prison. #trader #espionage






Source: U.S. District Court, U.S. Department of Justice

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