Convicted Spy Freed From US Prison

Convicted Spy Released from US Prison

( – In 1985, Ana Belen Montes started working with the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), gaining the position of senior Cuban analyst and making a name for herself as an expert in her field. Little did anyone know at the time that the reason Montes procured a position that gave her access to sensitive information was that she was actually a Cuban spy, and eventually she was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

On January 6, after spending over 20 years in federal prison, the former analyst was released back into society. The Federal Bureau of Prisons said she earned an early discharge for good behavior, according to NPR. The Guardian reported that when she was sentenced, Judge Ricardo Urbina ordered that she remain under supervision for five years, be monitored online, and avoid working for or contacting governments. However, it’s unclear whether or not these restrictions still apply.

The FBI reported that Montes avoided detection from the time she gained employment until 1996 by memorizing data instead of sending documents electronically or carrying a physical copy. She would then rush home with the information, type up what she learned, and make encrypted disks, which she delivered to her Cuban handlers.

In the late ‘90s, one of her colleagues at the DIA became suspicious of the spy, but she proclaimed her innocence and went on with her nefarious deeds for several more years. At that point, the officer caught wind of an ongoing FBI investigation looking for a Cuban spy. He put two and two together, and an official inquiry began. She was arrested after that and sentenced to 25 years behind bars after entering a guilty plea.

At the time of her sentencing, she told the court she followed her “conscience rather than the law.” More recently, the BBC reported that she issued a statement after her release, saying that she hoped more people would turn their attention away from her and focus on the “serious problems” in places like Puerto Rico and Cuba.

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