A Queens, N.Y. , Marine who guarded the U.S. Embassy in Moscow with accused Soviet spy Clayton J. Lonetree has been detained by the Marine Corps in Quantico, Va. , on suspicion of espionage and related crimes, the corps said Tuesday.
The detention lent credence to early suspicions that Lonetree, a Marine sergeant who guarded embassies in Moscow and Vienna before being arrested last December, might have been part of a wider Soviet-run spying operation within the embassy at Moscow.
The new suspect, identified as Cpl. Arnold Bracy, 21, of Woodside (Queens), N.Y., was brought from the Air-Ground Combat Center at Twentynine Palms, Calif. , to Quantico, where a military magistrate is to decide whether he will continue to be confined, the Marine Corps said in a written statement.
The Naval Investigative Service, which conducted probes of Lonetree and convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Jay Pollard, also developed the evidence that led to the latest apprehension.
Last month, the Marine Corps recalled five guards from the embassy, saying that they were suspected of violating "good conduct" regulations unrelated to the Lonetree case. Knowledgeable U.S. sources had said shortly after Lonetree's arrest that a second American was believed involved in espionage, but other intelligence sources denied it.
The Marine Corps' statement said only that the Lonetree case is "still under investigation" and that speculation about further arrests is inappropriate.
Bracy, the newly detained Marine, has not been formally charged with any crime, including espionage, which can merit the death penalty under military law. Should the military keep jurisdiction in the case, as appears likely, a decision on charges will be made later by a Marine commanding general, who will convene an investigation into the case.
Bracy served a tour of duty in Moscow that "overlapped with Sgt. Lonetree" before he was transferred to the California home of his parent unit, the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, the Marine Corps stated. Lonetree served in Moscow from September, 1984, to last March.
The latest detention was ordered within the last week and the Marine was transferred to Quantico Tuesday.
The Marine Corps refused to say when the suspected spy served in Moscow or what espionage-related crimes he is believed to have committed.
Lonetree, 25, is charged with 19 military violations, including one count of espionage, in a spy case that senior U.S. officials have called "quite serious." He is accused of giving the Soviets the names and photographs of three U.S. undercover agents in the Soviet Union and detailed descriptions and floor plans for sensitive embassy facilities in Moscow and Vienna.
Lonetree's spying is alleged to have begun after he became sexually involved with a Soviet national working at the embassy as a translator. The woman was in fact said to be a sexual lure, placed in the embassy by the KGB.
Lonetree's trial has been postponed while attorneys in the case travel to Moscow and Vienna to interview witnesses and gather evidence.
The evidence that led to the latest detention was gathered during the Naval Investigative Service's investigation of Lonetree, but any legal proceeding against the Marine would be conducted separately, the Marine Corps indicated.
The suspect is being held at the Marine Corps' Development and Education Command, a security guard school in Quantico.