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He was the highest-ranking Army officer to be convicted of spying in the U.S. Army's history.

COL. George Trofimoff, 74, of Tampa, Fla. was convicted Tuesday of smuggling military documents to the Soviet Union over a span of 25 years.

For his treachery, Trofimoff faces life in prison without parole.

The retired Army Reserve "full-bull" was arrested by the FBI last year when he tried to pick up cash he thought came from a Russian agent.

Court observers said the jury laughed at Trofimoff's contention he was really a "patriot" who "needed money" who "made up" a wild tale about spying to get cash from a man the colonel thought to be a Russian agent. In reality, the "agent" was working for the United States and Trofimoff's spying career ended abruptly.

Incredibly, Trofimoff - who served as chief of the Army interrogation center in Nuremberg, Germany from 1968 to 1994 - was arrested back then by German cops on spying charges. The colonel escaped justice when authorities couldn't prove the "alleged" spying occurred before the five-year statue of limitations had expired.

Prosecutors painted a picture of a cool, calculating traitor who they said gave the Communists details of US intelligence relating to Soviet preparedness for war.

Court papers showed a former KGB general described Trofimoff as a "top spy" during the period he was passing secrets on to the Soviets.

Prosecutors also detailed how the ex-Army colonel was recruited as a spy by his boyhood friend Igor Susemihl. The former "priest" in the State-controlled Russian Orthodox Church died two years ago.

Trofimoff, who has been married five times and apparently kept his spying activities secret from all his wives, was working as a grocery beggar in Melbourne, Fla. at the time of his arrest.


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