Aldrich Ames is a former CIA counterintelligence analyst who committed treason against the U.S. government by spying for the Russians.
Aldrich Ames was born on May 26, 1941 in River Falls, Wisconsin to Carleton Cecil Ames and Rachel Ames. While Ames was in high school he obtained a job at the CIA as a low ranking records analyst. He was able to get the job because his father worked for the CIA’s Directorate of Operations. In 1965 after graduating from George Washington University, Ames returned to working for the CIA.
His first assignment was in Turkey where he was locating Russian intelligence officers to recruit for information. In 1969 he married Nancy Segebarth who was in the career training program with him. She ended up resigning due to a rule at the CIA forbidding married couples to work with each other. Even though Ames had recruited various important Soviet assets for the CIA he only received a satisfactory on his review. This discouraged Ames and made him consider leaving the agency. He returned to CIA headquarters in 1972 where he took on the job of planning operations and managing files. Over the years he took on various jobs at the CIA.
Because of his divorce from his wife and his new fiancée’s, María del Rosario Casas Dupuy, heavy spending, Ames was under a lot of financial pressure. In April 1985 Ames committed his first act of treason by selling secrets which he thought were “useless information” to the Soviets for $50,000. The CIA noticed that many of its Russian agents were disappearing. They knew that there was something wrong, but they did not want to jump to the conclusion that a mole was in their agency. Ames met with his handler at the Russian Embassy weekly for lunch. After each meet Ames would receive anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 in exchange for information. At the end of his career in spying on U.S. he received about $4.6 million. In August 1985 he finally married María del Rosario Casas. He feared that the CIA would notice his luxurious lifestyle that was beyond anything that a CIA salary could afford, so he claimed that his wife came from a wealthy family.
The CIA knew there was a mole in their system by 1990; they just weren’t sure who it was. Employees had filed complaints with their superiors that Ames was living beyond the means of any Central Intelligence Agency employee and that his wife was not as wealthy as he claimed. In 1986 and 1991 he was forced to take a polygraph lie-detector test. He feared he would not pass it. His KGB handlers told him to just remain calm while taking the test. Ames passed the test both times with no problem.
The CIA and FBI launched an investigation against Ames in 1993. They used electronic surveillance, combed through his trash and even placed a bug on his car to track his movements. On February 24, 1994 Ames and María were arrested by the FBI. On February 28, 1994 he was charged with spying for the Russians by the United States Department of Justice, pleaded guilty and was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole. María was charged with tax evasion and was given a five-year sentence. Both are traitors to the United States.
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