Alleged Russian spies donated money to Rep. Marty Walz

Wicked Local Cambridge is reporting that Tracy Lee Ann Foley and Donald Heathfield, a couple arrested Sunday and charged with being Russian spies donated money to Rep. Marty Walz:

A Cambridge woman arrested and charged Sunday with being a Russian spy donated to state Rep. Marty Walz’s campaign in 2004.

According to state campaign finance records, Tracey Lee Ann Foley of 111 Trowbridge St., Cambridge, gave $50 to Walz on May 30, 2004.

Walz said Foley was the wife of alleged Russian spy Donald Healthfield, who was in her class at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Walz said she sent out an e-mail asking for campaign contributions from her classmates and Foley must have signed the check.

Walz said there was nothing to distinguish Healthfield, other than the fact that “we thought he was Canadian.”

According to state records, Foley had a real estate license.

Paul Hampel, SVR agent posing as Donald Heathfield

We don’t think Marty Walz knew they were spies of course. But it’s still kind of interesting who Russian spies are supporting these days.

Here is what a Russian spy’s linked in profile looks like, and his “corporate profile“. The spy even had a patent on predicting the future! now that’s dedication.

The complete spy allegations story is pretty interesting.

The Department of Justice claims that Donald Howard Heathfield and his wife, Tracey Lee Ann Foley, surveilled by the FBI in their townhouse, discussed how to send digital photographs encrypted with data to their Russian handlers. The surveillance operation also discovered that the pair was receiving electronic messages from Russian agents discussing communication via  radiograms — short bursts of radio static encoded with data.

According to Reuters, it appears the two were part of an 11 member international spy ring:

The group, dubbed the “Illegals,” was accused of being tasked by the Russian intelligence agency SVR to enter the United States, assume false identities and become “deep-cover” Americans, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

Their goal was to “become sufficiently ‘Americanized’ such that they could gather information about the United States for Russia and can successfully recruit sources who are in, or are able to infiltrate, United States policy-making circles,” according to criminal complaints filed in U.S. federal court.

The Associated Press has a pretty complete story, with pictures of the spy’s home in Cambridge.

“Donald Heathfield” appears to be the genuine article – a true Russian SVR agent. According to the National Post, he was born Paul Hampel and took on the name of a deceased child “Donald Heathfield” while under cover in Canada:

One of the agents was posing as Donald Howard Graham Heathfield, a Canadian infant who died in 1962. The FBI said it found a copy of Donald’s birth certificate in the agent’s safety deposit box in Cambridge, Mass. The Russian assumed the dead baby’s identity and attempted to recruit high-level U.S. government sources to find out about a “bunker buster” nuclear warhead research program, according to the indictment unsealed yesterday in New York.

The late Donald Heathfield is buried with his grandparents at a cemetery in Montreal, where the SVR agent known as Paul Hampel had lived, leaving open the possibility he found the name during a visit to the graveyard.

In the underworld, the process is called “tombstoning” because the names of dead children are often culled from cemeteries. More information on the deceased — including the parents’ names — is often gleaned from newspaper obituaries, museum records or genealogical databases.

I wonder if the donations to Walz were part of their “deep cover” or if Marty Walz really was their candidate of choice?

Rep. Marty Walz is being challenged by Brad Marston. It’s a very Democratic district, but Marston has been running a very vigorous and sophisticated campaign. It will be one to watch, and we’ll be covering it soon.

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