Intelligence: June 16, 2000


A federal grand jury in Tampa, Florida, indicted retired US Army Colonel George Trofimoff for espionage on 14 June. He became the highest ranking US military officer ever charged by the US with spying; he is 73 years old. According to the indictment, he provided the Soviets with copies of classified US military files starting in 1969, and continued doing so beyond the end of the Soviet Union, selling to the Russians until 1994. Trofimoff actually served in a military intelligence post as a civilian; his military rank is for unrelated reserve duty. Trofimoff passed his secrets to an Eastern Orthodox clergyman he had known for decades. The two were raised together in Germany and considered each other as brothers. German authorities arrested them both in 1994, but released them when they could not prove that their crimes had been committed in the previous five years (which is the statute of limitations in Germany).--Stephen V Cole


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