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Air Force Sergeant Sentenced As Spy

December 20, 1991

WASHINGTON (AP) _ An Air Force intelligence specialist was sentenced to 38 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges of desertion and spying on U.S. diplomats and military commanders in Berlin, the Air Force said Friday.

At a general court martial on Dec. 3, Sgt. Jeffrey M. Carney plead guilty to charges of espionage, conspiracy and desertion.

Carney also admitted copying classified documents and passing them to the East Germans, an Air Force spokesman said.

His home of record is Cincinnati, Ohio, said spokesman Col. Doug Kennet.

The court martial, which began Nov. 4, took place at Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland, Kennet said.

He was arrested April 22 at his residence in what used to be the Soviet sector of Berlin, the spokesman said. Special agents from the Air Force Office of Special Investigations apprehended him.

Carney deserted in 1985 while serving as a linguistic instructor at Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas. He defected to East Germany in September of that year, the Air Force said.

From April of 1982 until 1984, Carney worked as a linguist and communications specialist at Tempelhof Central Airport in Berlin, assigned to an electronics security group. In April of 1984, he was transferred to Goodfellow, which is an Air Force base for training intelligence and communications specialists.

″Over a two-and-a half year period at Templehof Central Airport, Germany, and Goodfellow AFB, CArney copied classified documents and transferred them to agents of the East Germany government,″ the Air Force said.

After defecting in 1985, Carney ″continued to commit acts of espionage against the United States by intercepting, translating and transcribing official telephone communications of U.S. military commanders and embassy officials stationed in Berlin,″ the Air Force said.

Carney also received a dishonorable discharge, total forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and was reduced to the lowest enlisted rank, the spokesman said.

Queried about the harm done by Carney’s actions, the spokesman said he could provide no details due to security concerns, but that Carney’s actions were ″significant enough to warrant a court martial and his sentence.″

Kennet said the court martial was not made public due to a request by Carney and his attorney.

″They wanted no media involvement,″ the spokesman said.

Carney is confined at the Marine Corps Combat Development Command Brigade in Quantico, Va.,the spokesman said.

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