QUANTICE, Va. - A Marine Corps general reduced the sentence for convicted spy Clayton Lonetree on grounds that the former Moscow embassy guard's lawyers may have been incompetent, a Marine Corps spokesman said.
Lonetree's 25 year sentence for spying for the former Soviet Union was reduced to 20 years Last October.
This week, Lt. Gen. Charles C. Krulak, chief of Quantico Marine Base, suspended an additional five years, Marine Corps spokesman Lt. Michael J. Neumann said. In the military criminal justice system, a commanding officer reviews military judges' decisions and may make changes.
Krulak did not alter the rest of Lonetree's sentence - a reduction in rank from sergeant to private and a dishonorable discharge.
Lonetree, 31, was an embassy guard in Moscow in the early 1980s when he met a Soviet translator, Violetta Sanni, and fell in love. She introduced him to a Soviet agent Lonetree knew as "Uncle Sasha," he testified at his 1987 court-martial.
After his arrest in December 1986, Lonetree confessed to passing blueprints of the embassy building and other documents to Uncle Sasha. He also provided names of American intelligence agents in Vienna.
Lonetree is the first marine to be convicted of spying against the United States. His sentence was reduced to 20 years after he cooperated with U.S. espionage investigations. Lonetree is eligible for parole because he already has served a third of the 20-year term.
• The Lonetree Case
• The Unequal Justice Page
• Even Pollard Deserves Better Than Govt Sandbagging: G. Crovitz - WSJ
• The Comparative Sentencing Charts
• The Facts Page
• Return to home page