Ex-FBI Agent Pitts Sentenced to 27 Years:
June 23, 1997 - CNN
Another Example of Unequal Justice
EX FBI agent Earl Edwin Pitts committed treason, spying for an enemy for money. His crimes are far more severe than the one count of passing
classified information to an ally, for which Jonathan Pollard was
indicted. Nevertheless, Pitts' 27 year sentence is a far lighter
sentence than the life sentence meted out to Jonathan Pollard.
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (CNN) -- A judge sentenced former FBI
agent Earl Pitts to 27 years in jail Monday for spying for
Prosecutors had requested nearly 24 1/2 years. But U.S.
District Judge T.S. Ellis told Pitts his crimes were
especially severe and said Pitts has yet to fully apologize.
"You betrayed your country, you betrayed your government,
your fellow workers and all of us, really," Ellis said,
glaring at the defendant. "Every time you go by Arlington
(National Cemetery) ... every name you see on the Vietnam
Memorial ... you betrayed them especially."
Pitts, 44, acknowledged spying for the Russians before and
after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Randy Bellows called Pitts' conduct
"appalling," saying Pitts betrayed his fellow law enforcement
officers, going so far as to give Russians information about
FBI agents' children.
Pitts also gave the Russians the FBI's "Soviet Administrative
List," a comprehensive listing of every Russian official in
the United States and their connection with the intelligence
community. In addition, he gave the Russians "a bird's-eye
view of the progress the United States has made" in figuring
out the Soviet intelligence apparatus, Bellows said.
Pitts, the second FBI agent ever caught spying, pleaded
guilty in February to conspiring and attempting to commit
espionage. The plea spared Pitts a possible life prison
sentence on the 12 charges he originally faced.
Pitts, looking thin and disheveled, told the judge he
understands how deeply he betrayed his country and his
"I do not wish to excuse or explain away my actions. What I
did was wrong, pure and simple," he said.
Pitts, said to be motivated by money, was caught as a result
of a 16-month undercover FBI sting operation and was
dismissed by the agency in January.
He had been in the FBI's New York City unit responsible for
catching Russian spies. He was charged with accepting more
than $224,000 from Moscow for U.S. secrets.