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Magistrate Orders Nesbitt Held Without Bond

October 16, 1989

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) _ A federal magistrate today granted a government request to order Frank Arnold Nesbitt, charged with passing information to the Soviets, held without bond pending a further court hearing.

Magistrate W. Curtis Sewell agreed with Assistant U.S. Attorney Deborah Young, who cited the severity of the charge and a risk that Nesbitt, 44, might flee the country.

Nesbitt was arrested Saturday at a hotel in nearby McLean, Va., and charged with communication and delivery and the attempt to communicate and deliver unauthorized information to agents of the Soviet government, according to a brief FBI statement.

The affidavit supporting Nesbitt’s arrest remained sealed today, authorities said.

Nesbitt told The Washington Post before he was arrested that he tried to fool the KGB, did not tell Soviet agents anything useful and wanted to be a double agent for the U.S. government. He said he is a former Marine and Air Force communications officer.

The Post said Nesbitt approached the paper Friday because he was unhappy with the response he received from the FBI after he offered his services as a spy following his return from an 11-day stay in Moscow.

At the hearing today, Nesbitt said he did not understand why he was being kept in isolation at the Alexandria, Va., Adult Detention Center. Sewell said it was the decision of the U.S. Marshal’s Service to determine how a suspect is to be kept.

Sewell also told Nesbitt that a public defender would be appointed, after the suspect said he had no money to hire his own attorney.

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