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Soviet Spy To Be Freed From U.S. Custody After 30 Years

A former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) employee convicted in 1986 of spying for the Soviet Union is set to be freed after three decades in federal custody.

U.S. government prison-release records show that the sentence of Ronald Pelton, 74, expires on November 24.

Pelton, a former NSA intelligence communications specialist, was arrested in November 1985 on charges of selling signals intelligence to the Soviets for $35,000.

U.S. prosecutors have said a Soviet KGB defector tipped authorities off about Pelton, who was subsequently convicted and sentenced in 1986 to three life terms by a federal judge who said he had betrayed a "special position of trust."

The KGB agent who fingered Pelton later returned to Moscow, The Associated Press reported.

The secrets that Pelton sold to Moscow included information about Operation Ivy Bells, a plan by U.S. intelligence to tap Soviet communications cables that had been laid under the ocean.

A U.S. Bureau of Prisons spokesman told The Associated Press that Pelton was transferred during the past year from a federal prison to a halfway house and then to home confinement.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press and the Washington Free Beacon