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Marines Charge Lonetree Gave Soviet Agents Access to Embassy

March 28, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Sgt. Clayton J. Lonetree, the Marine guard arrested for spying last December, escorted Soviet agents through the American Embassy in Moscow for hours at a time on numerous occasions last year, the Marine Corps charged Friday.

And the Pentagon, in a directive Friday from Deputy Defense Secretary William Howard Taft IV to Navy Secretary John F. Lehman Jr., ordered a probe into security oversight of Marines at embassies worldwide.

The corps, in a formal "charge sheet" explaining why it increased the number of charges pending against Lonetree from 19 to 24, further alleged the 25-year-old Marine conspired with another guard, Cpl. Arnold Bracy, to allow Soviet agents into sensitive areas, including the room where classified messages are decoded.

Worked Together 8 Months

Bracy, 21, worked as an embassy guard in Moscow with Lonetree for roughly eight months in 1985 and 1986. He was arrested on suspicion of espionage this week.

Pentagon sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, have said both men were romantically involved with Soviet women, Lonetree with a woman who worked as a translator and Bracy with a cook at the embassy.

The Marine Corps charged that Bracy served as a lookout on the nights that Lonetree allowed Soviet agents inside the embassy, shutting off security alarms that were set off by the Soviets.

The charges further alleged that the two Marines then lied to superiors about why the alarms had been set off. Lonetree also is accused of providing Bracy about $1,000 in cash. No reason for the payment was given.

Michael V. Stuhff, the lead defense attorney for Lonetree, said his client "would absolutely deny these allegations."

Activities Not Explained

The charge sheet did not attempt to explain Soviet activities inside the embassy, beyond alleging that Lonetree escorted the agents "into the Defense Attache Office, the Communications Processing Unit and other sensitive intelligence spaces . . . allowing them to peruse said areas and the instruments, appliances, documents and writings contained therein."

The Marine Corps also alleged that Lonetree had provided blueprints of the embassy, as well as floor plans and office assignments, to the Soviets.

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