WASHINGTON — A former crypto-analyst who specialized in breaking foreign codes at the top-secret National Security Agency pleaded guilty Friday to spying for the former Soviet KGB.
The Justice Department announced that David Boone, a retired U.S. Army sergeant, had entered his guilty plea before the District Court in Alexandria, Va. He will remain in custody until sentencing Feb. 26 and faces 30 years in prison without the possibility of parole.
In his guilty plea, Boone, 46, acknowledged that from 1988 to 1991 he had delivered "highly classified documents" that "could potentially cause grave harm to the national security of the536870913United States" to agents of the KGB, the intelligence agency of the ex-Soviet Union, the Justice Department said.
Among information handed by Boone to the KGB were documents detailing U.S. targeting of tactical nuclear weapons in case of nuclear attack by the Soviets and details of the U.S. military's use of signals intelligence.
According to a "statement of facts" signed by Boone, a native of Flint, Mich., he served in the Army from October 1970 until his retirement in June 1991. During most of that time he was a signals intelligence analyst.
During his 21-year Army career Boone also worked at the headquarters of the National Security Agency, which conducts eavesdropping operations around the world, in Ft. Meade, Md.
He was later assigned to the U.S. Army intelligence station in Augsburg, Germany, from October 1988 through June 1991, during which most of his spying activities occurred.
According to the statement, Boone first began spying for the Soviet Union in 1988 when he walked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., and offered his services. He was paid $300 for a classified document.
Boone received a total of more than $50,000 for his spying activities.
In September this year, an FBI agent posing as a Russian spy contacted Boone, according to the statement.
He was arrested at a Washington airport hotel on Oct. 10 when he flew to the United States to meet with his contact.