Thursday, November 18, 2010
Code-named TRIGON by the Central Intelligence Agency, Ogorodnik was a Soviet Foreign Ministry official recruited in Bogotá, Colombia, in 1969 after having sought the CIA’s help when his Colombian girlfriend had become pregnant. In 1977 TRIGON’s case officer, Martha Petersen, was detained while servicing one of his dead drops in Moscow, and the KGB seized some of his espionage paraphernalia, including two cameras and some sophisticated miniaturized communications equipment. Ogorodnik committed suicide with a lethal cyanide pill concealed in a fountain pen while under interrogation, but Petersen was released and expelled because she had diplomatic immunity. The CIA later concluded that Ogorodnik had been betrayed by Karl Koecher, a Czech spy who succeeded in penetrating the Agency.