Cuban spies shock unsuspecting neighbors

On Thursday, June 4, a retired State Department analyst with top secret security clearance and his wife were arrested by FBI agents on charges of fraud, conspiracy and acting as agents of a foreign government.

Walter Kendall Myers (72) and Gwendolyn Steingraber Myers (71), accused of spying for Cuba, may just be the next big spy scandal to hit Washington, DC. When they’re not in custody, the Myerses live in a rather verdant part of Northwest Washington, and their neighbors – interviewed recently by ABC News – are shocked and dismayed.

U.S. Department of StateWalter Myers’s pedigree is impressive; the great grandson of Alexander Graham Bell and grandson of Gilbert Grosvenor (a long-time editor-in-chief of National Geographic), Walter completed undergrad at Brown and a masters and PhD at Johns Hopkins, where he taught while working for the government. It is believed that the couple, despite Walter’s impressive American pedigree, has been spying for Cuba for thirty years, using such methods as a Sony shortwave radio (seized from their abode), encrypted emails, water-soluble paper and the exchange of grocery carts at the supermarket to transmit information.

According to the FBI affidavit, Walter Myers met with an undercover agent on April 15 and allegedly reported on his upcoming trip to Cuba, saying “our idea is to sail home.” Home to Cuba?

Ana Belen Montes – once an analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency – was arrested in 2001 and sentenced to 25 years in prison for being a Cuban spy. Court documents indicate that the Myerses helped Cuban intelligence to confirm the intel they received from Montes. The Complaint alleges that the Myerses were aware of this duplication and verification process, and Gwendolyn is quoted to have called it “terrific.”

Apparently the couple met with Fidel Castro in January 1995 – a clandestine meeting the notion of which Castro has declared “ridiculous.” The two also, it seems, met with Cuban agents in other countries. They pleaded not guilty to the charges at the arraignment, and are due in federal court tomorrow, where a judge will determine whether they should be released or held in custody until the trial.

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