NSA analyst dies at age 80 for selling US secrets to Soviet Union

a former National Security Agency According to an obituary posted on the website of a Maryland funeral home, the analyst, arguably its most damaging traitor and famous for aiding the Soviet Union during the Cold War, died last week.

Ronald William Pelton was 80.

peloton was one NSA Intelligence communications specialist, who was arrested in November 1985 for selling government secrets to the Soviet Union. He spent nearly three decades in prison before completing his sentence in 2015.

Pelton’s crimes included selling defense and communications secrets for more than $35,000. The most notable breach of their trust was informing Soviet intelligence of “Operation Ivy Bells”, a plan put forward by the NSA and the US Navy to tap the Soviet Union’s underwater communications cables.

He worked for the NSA for 14 years and retired in 1979, after which he approached the Soviet embassy in Washington to sell government secrets. Pelton’s lawyer said he betrayed America because he had fallen on hard financial times and was desperate.

At the time, Peloton was earning $24,500 a year, which — accounting for inflation — is an estimated $100,000 today.

A Soviet KGB agent who had defected reported Pelton to investigators, setting the stage for his prosecution.

Despite asking for leniency, in 1986 Pelton was given three life sentences, as well as serving another 10 years at the same time.

“I could at least calculate the rest of my life,” pleaded Pelton. His arguments were rejected.

He was freed from his sentence after being imprisoned in half a house and then in a house.

A federal judge said Pelton committed “one of the most serious crimes in the US Criminal Code.”

Pelton’s attorney in the case, Fred Warren Bennett, called his client’s act of espionage “the biggest mistake of his life”.

On her obituary page, Pelton’s daughter Pamela Wright commented: “It was gone when I was 19 and didn’t return until I was about 50. During that period almost There was no communication. I grew up. Had a family. Went to college and got a professional career. Had grandchildren. I lived my life without him.

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“When he came back, he was calmer. More sweet. With much regret.”

Read full story at the guardian.com

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