FAMOUS SPY NUMBER THREE
Spied For: The Soviet Union
Ames is a former CIA Counter-intelligence Officer who was convicted of spying for the Soviet Union in 1994. On his first assignment as a case officer, he was stationed in Ankara, Turkey, where his job was to target Soviet intelligence officers for recruitment. Due to financial problems in his personal life as a result of alcohol abuse and high spending, Ames began spying for the Soviet Union in 1985, when he walked into the Soviet Embassy in Washington to offer secrets for money.
Ames was assigned to the CIA’s European office where he had direct access to the identities of CIA operatives in the KGB and Soviet Military. The information he supplied to the Soviets lead to the compromise of at least 100 CIA agents and to the execution of at least 10. He ultimately gave the USSR the names of every CIA operative working in their country; for this they paid him 4.6 million dollars. Ames used the money to live well beyond his means as a CIA agent, buying jewellery, cars, and a $500,000 house.
In early 1985, the CIA began to notice that they were losing their “assets” at a very rapid rate. For unknown reasons they were not willing, in the early stages, to believe that they had been infiltrated by the KGB, instead presuming the leak to be via bugging devices. When the FBI were finally brought in to investigate, Ames became the primary suspect. Fearing he would defect on a CIA trip to Russia, The FBI arrested him at the airport with his wife. He was given a life sentence and is incarcerated in the US Penitentiary in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.