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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

CONRAD, CLYDE

A U.S. Army retiree, former sergeant Clyde L. Conrad was arrested in August 1988 at his home in West  Germany following information discovered in Sweden during the interrogation of two doctors, Sandor and Imre Kercsik, who had acted as couriers for the Hungarian intelligence service, the AVH (Allami Vedelmi Hatosag). They had been caught after a tip from a GRU source in Budapest, Vladimir Vasiliev, code-named GT/ACCORD. Under interrogation, they implicated Capt. Zoltan Szabo, a former Hungarian army officer who had joined the AVH in 1967 before emigrating to Germany where, in 1973, he admitted he had recruited Conrad.
Prior to his retirement in 1985 Conrad had served at the Bad Kreuznach headquarters of the U.S. Eighth  Infantry Division, where he had enjoyed access to highly classified military information concerning NATO troop deployments that he had sold to Szabo for more than $1 million. In the decade prior to his retirement, Conrad had sold classified documents from a custody suite he supervised and had received an estimated $1.2 million. He had also recruited some of his subordinates, among them Sergeant Roderick J. Ramsay, a clerk  who had also supplied secret documents, and then had participated in the illicit procurement of embargoed computer components by exporting them through a dummy company in Canada.
In October 1988 the two Kercsiks were sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment in Sweden. The following year, Szabo was convicted of espionage in an Austrian court, but he was released in return for his evidence against his agent, Conrad, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in West Germany in June 1990. In January 1998, he died in prison of heart failure.
When the 29-year-old Ramsay was arrested at his mother’s home in Tampa, Florida, in June 1990, he was unemployed, having been discharged from the Army for drug use. He was accused of having sold classified information to Conrad for $20,000 soon after his transfer to West Germany as a clerk, in June 1983. Ramsay agreed to cooperate with the investigation, describing how he had initially photographed secret documents using a 35mm camera, but then had relied on a videocamera, recording a total of 48 hours of tape. Among the items he recalled having sold was NATO’s plan for the defense of Central Europe and the conditions under which tactical nuclear weapons would be deployed. In August 1992 Ramsay was sentenced to 36 years in prison.
Another of Conrad’s subordinates to be imprisoned was Kelly Therese Warren, a former soldier from  Georgia who had been posted to the Eighth Infantry Division headquarters at Bad Kreuznach between 1986 and 1988 and had been recruited to maintain Conrad’s access to secrets after he left the Army. Warren  pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and was sentenced in February 1999 to 25 years’  imprisonment.
Two others in Conrad’s network were sergeants Jeffrey S. Rondeau and Jeffrey E. Gregory, both recruited by Ramsay. According to court testimony, Rondeau at Ramsay’s direction had photocopied hundreds of documents, which Gregory had stuffed into a military flight bag for delivery to the Hungarians. He estimated the bag weighed 20 pounds when it had been filled. In June 1994 both men were sentenced to 18 years in prison.