Couple who lived quietly in Hawaii for years were actually Russian spies, US alleges
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow/Gray News) - A couple living quietly in Hawaii for years were actually Russian spies, federal agents with the state Department Bureau of Diplomatic Security Service allege.
Walter Glenn Primose, also known as Bobby Edward Fort, and Gwynn Darle Morrison, aka Julie Lyn Montague, were arrested in a raid Friday morning, HawaiiNewsNow reported.
Government records said the couple assumed the identities of dead babies from Texas in the 1980s, then used those identities to obtain Social Security cards, passports and driver’s licenses. Both are charged with identity theft, lying on their passport applications and conspiracy to commit crimes against the United States.
Retired FBI agent Tom Simon, who owns an investigative firm called Simon Worldwide Investigations, believes these are preliminary charges designed to “get these people off the streets and begin negotiating with them and seeing what they know and their willingness to cooperate with the U.S.”
Pictures included in the court records show Primrose and Morrison in uniforms that the government said belonged to the KGB, the former Soviet Union spy agency.
The criminal complaint said Primrose fraudulently enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1994.
“The Coast Guard has one foot firmly planted in the world of law enforcement and the second foot in the U.S. military and the intel community,” Simon said.
Attorney Kevin O’Grady, a former military prosecutor, said Primrose’s security clearance could have provided the Russians with valuable information.
“They engage in counter terrorism and counter drug operations and things like that,” he said.
Primrose worked as an avionic electrical technician, serving 22 years before retiring.
“Enough information disclosed publicly can enable the enemy to put pieces together and that can tell the enemy a lot about us,” O’Grady said.
After retiring from the Coast Guard in 2016, Primrose was working as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor until his arrest Friday.
“It’s absolutely staggering to me the amount of time and effort the Russians put into this particular project,” Simon said, referring to the criminal allegations. “This was not a quick hit to steal some records to get back. This was decades in the making.”
Neighbors said the couple lived in the Kapolei community in Honolulu for many years, keeping a low profile.
Neighbor Joshua Guieb-Pangan said they were friendly.
“When we would drive by, they’d always give us a wave,” Pangan said.
He was shocked when agents raided the home last week.
“There was a lot of FBI members around the house and in the house,” Pangan said.
The government is asking that the couple be held without bond, calling them a flight risk.
A judge will decide on that request on Thursday.
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