Marine Corporal Accused of Attempted Espionage : Spying: Investigators say the actions of the serviceman were not connected to the Persian Gulf War.


A 23-year-old Marine corporal stationed in Yuma has been arrested and accused of attempted espionage, marking the first Marine Corps case of its kind in four years.

Charles Lee Francis Anzalone, a field telephone wire specialist assigned to the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, was snared by Naval Investigative Service agents after a four-month joint investigation with the FBI.

During that time, Anzalone had contacted a person he believed was a foreign intelligence officer. Anzalone, however, reached only a decoy.

Officials said the incident involved national defense matters unrelated to the Persian Gulf war.

"Any case dealing with the national defense and espionage is significant," said Mike Bourke, assistant regional director for criminal matters with NIS, the investigative arm of the Navy. "We were fortunate that he did not make contact with a hostile intelligence officer. . . . And the investigation, to date, shows no connection to the government of Iraq."

Bourke declined to name the country whose representative Anzalone believed he was reaching. Anzalone, who is assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 371, is now in the Camp Pendleton brig, where he arrived Feb. 13.

The Jamestown, N.Y., native could remain in the brig for 90 days awaiting a military trial. Meanwhile, NIS agents are continuing their investigation, though it is not believed that other Marines are involved, Bourke said.

At the conclusion of the investigation, a report will be submitted to Marine Corps officials who will determine the charges to be brought against Anzalone.

NIS launched its investigation after being contacted by an FBI informant. Anzalone's case is the first Marine espionage case since the scandal involving Sgt. Clayton J. Lonetree, a former guard at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Lonetree was convicted of spying in 1987, the first Marine in the 212-year history of the Corps found guilty of espionage. Lonetree had been charged after he voluntarily told U.S. intelligence agents of his sexual affair with a translator at the Moscow embassy.

He was accused of stealing sensitive documents and passing secrets to the KGB in Moscow and Vienna while stationed as a guard at those embassies between 1984 and 1986. A court-martial jury found the St. Paul, Minn., native guilty of 13 counts of espionage, larceny and conspiracy.

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