Rudolph Ivanovich	 Abel			Photo Gallery
The Hollow Nickle Case  (continued)

On July 15, 1947, Andrew Kayotis, then residing in Detroit, was issued a passport so that he could visit relatives in Europe. Investigation in Detroit disclosed that several persons there considered Kayotis to be in poor physical condition at the time of his departure from the United States. Letters subsequently received from him indicated that he was in a Lithuanian hospital. When Kayotis' friends in Michigan heard no more from him, they assumed that he had passed away.

Nearly 10 years later, "Mark" was to admit that he had used Kayotis' passport during the fall of 1948 in booking passage aboard an ocean liner from LeHavre, France, to Canada. On November 14, 1948, he disembarked from the ship at Quebec -- and quickly dropped out of sight.

"Mark" made another admission -- that he was a Russian citizen, Rudolf Ivanovich Abel, born July 2, 1902, in the Soviet Union. Although he refused to discuss his intelligence activities, the photo studio and hotel room which he occupied were virtual museums of modern espionage equipment. They contained shortwave radios, cipher pads, cameras and film for producing microdots, a hollow shaving brush, cuff links, and numerous other "trick" containers.

Indicted as a Russian spy, Colonel Abel was tried in Federal court at New York City during October, 1957. Among the government witnesses to testify against him was his former trusted espionage assistant, Lieutenant Colonel Reino Hayhanen.

On October 25, 1957, the jury announced its verdict -- Abel was guilty of all counts. He appeared before Judge Mortimer W. Byers on November 15, 1957, and was sentenced as follows (the three sentences to be served concurrently):

Count One (Conspiracy to transmit defense information to the Soviet Union), 30 years' imprisonment.
Count Two (Conspiracy to obtain defense information), 10 years' imprisonment and $2,000 fine.
Count Three (Conspiracy to act in the United States as an agent of a foreign government without notification to the Secretary of State), 5 years' imprisonment and $1,000 fine.
Colonel Abel appealed his convictions, claiming that rights guaranteed to him under the Constitution and laws of the United States had been violated. By a five-to-four decision which was handed down on March 28, 1960, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of this Russian spy.An investigation which had started with a newsboy's hollow nickel ultimately resulted in the smashing of a Soviet spy ring. On February 10, 1962, Rudolf Invanovich Abel was exchanged for the American U-2 pilot, Francis Gary Powers, who was a prisoner of the Soviet Union.
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 |