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Monday
Nov082010

Convicted Russian Spy Ran Another Espionage Scheme from Prison

Photo Courtesy - CIA dot gov(SHERIDAN, Ore.) -- Former CIA operative Harold James Nicholson pleaded guilty Monday to spying for Russia -- again. Nicholson was convicted of espionage in 1997 and is serving a long prison sentence in Oregon.  In a remarkable tale of spycraft, authorities say he still managed to ply his trade from prison by using his son to do the dirty work.

Authorities say that in 2006, Nicholson enlisted his son Nathaniel, 25, in another espionage scheme. During visits with Nicholson at an Oregon prison from 2006 to 2008, Nicholson would give his son classified information he had gathered years earlier. Jim Nicholson schooled his son in CIA tradecraft and told his son to pass the classified information on to the Russians.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security David Kris said, "Harold Nicholson, one of the highest-ranking CIA officials ever convicted of espionage, dispatched his son around the globe to collect on past espionage debts from Russian agents. [Monday], he admitted using this scheme to continue to profit from his spying activities while in prison."

The plea agreement states the U.S. Attorney and Nicholson's lawyers will ask the court at sentencing to impose an eight-year prison sentence to be served consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving. Nathaniel is expected to receive a lesser sentence in return for his cooperation.

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