Two charged as Cuban spies in US

A former US official and his wife have been charged with spying for the Cuban government over a 30-year period, BBC reported.

Washington DC residents Walter Myers, 72, and Gwendolyn Myers, 71, are accused of acting as illegal agents for Cuba and wire fraud.

The couple could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty.

The arrest follows a sting operation by the FBI, in which an agent posing as a Cuban spy persuaded the couple to give him information about their activities.

Mr Myers first began working for the US State Department in 1977 as an instructor at the Foreign Service Institute, where he was given security clearance to access information classified as Top Secret.

He was later granted an even higher security clearance, performing periodic work for the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) until 1999, when he joined INR on a permanent basis.

He retired in 2007.

Mr Myers married his wife Gwendolyn in 1982. She worked as an analyst at a Washington DC bank, and was never granted security clearance by the US government.

In an affidavit released by the US Justice Department, offiicals have revealed details of the sting operation conducted by the FBI.

According to the affidavit, an undercover agent posing as a member of the Cuban Intelligence Service approached Mr Myers, telling him that he had been sent by the Cuban government to obtain information from him.

During a subsequent meeting, Mr Myers and his wife agreed to provide information about US government personnel to the undercover agent, and made statements about their past activities for the Cuban government, the affidavit alleges.

Mr Myers was first approached by the Cuban government in 1978, the Justice Department says, and he and his wife agreed shortly afterwards to provide information to Cuban intelligence.

Officials instigated the undercover operation after an analysis of Mr Myers' State Department computer hard drive revealed that in 2006-2007 he accessed more than 200 sensitive or classified intelligence reports on the subject of Cuba, which were unrelated to his official work as a senior INR analyst for the European region.

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