Lobbyist Facing New York Charges
Aug. 09, 1989
NEW YORK (AP) _ Craig Spence, a lobbyist who has been linked to a Washington call-boy service that is under federal investigation, is facing cocaine and gun possession charges in New York, officials said today.
Spence, 48, was arrested July 31 at a Manhattan hotel on a felony weapons charge and misdemeanor possession of crack, said Gerald McKelvey, a district attorney's spokesman. Spence was released for an Aug. 28 hearing.
The Washington Times and The Washington Post reported today that a 22-year- old male prostitute was arrested with Spence and was charged with drug possession. McKelvey said he could not confirm that.
The Times reported that in an eight-hour interview Monday, Spence disclosed that he discovered about three years ago that he had contracted AIDS and was threatening to commit suicide rather than die of the disease.
''I had the world at my house,'' Spence said of parties where he played host to some prominent Washingtonians, ''and now they don't know who I am.''
The Times said Spence revealed that his apartment had been rigged with listening devices by ''friendly'' intelligence agents he refused to name. He said he had destroyed audio tapes and photographs by the time the Secret Service raided his apartment in July, and all that was left was his anti-AIDS medication, AZT.
A New York police spokeswoman could not immediately confirm the Post's account, in which Officer Lori Pollock said she arrived at Spence's room in the Barbizon Hotel and heard crashing.
''This guy Craig Spence comes running out of the room screaming that the other guy has a gun,'' Ms. Pollock was quoted as saying. ''We got the gun and it wasn't loaded. We determined that it belonged to Spence. There were drugs in the room also, cocaine and a crack pipe.''
Spence, a former television correspondent, was a dashing figure who was a registered foreign agent for Japan at the height of his lobbying activities.
To the embarrassment of his former contacts in official Washington, Spence was identified this summer by the Times as a major client of a homosexual escort service. The Secret Service, District of Columbia police and the U.S. Attorney's Office are investigating that service for possible credit card fraud, authorities said.
Spence told the Times he never spent as much as $20,000 a month for call boy services, as reflected by credit card receipts obtained by the Times. He claimed charges were improperly inflated by an escort service manager.
Spence also has been linked to a White House guard who has said he accepted an expensive watch from Spence and gave him a piece of presidential china. The guard, Reginald deGueldre, also reportedly allowed Spence and some friends to take midnight tours of White House public areas last year.
The Secret Service has said the tours were unauthorized, but not a security breach.
Spence said that at his work level, ''Reggie couldn't have arranged anything,'' and acknowledged the exchange of gifts.