Nelson Drummond

Project 54 of 74

Nelson Drummond - spymuseum.comServed as a yeoman first class at the U.S. Naval Headquarters in London, England in the mid-1950′s. Worked as a clerk and had access to top secret documents and received NATO and “Cosmic” clearance.

Was a heavy drinker and often found himself in financial difficulties due to heavy gambling debts. Was approached one evening in a tavern by a KGB agent who offered to by him a drink. Drummond accepted and the agent continued buying drinks all night. The agent later asked the drunken Drummond if he would obtain a Naval identification card for the agent, for use at the Naval Exchange store. Drummond agreed and accepted $250 for his efforts, signing a receipt slip for having received the cash.

Was immediately blackmailed, with the KGB threatening to show the receipt to Naval authorities if he refused to cooperate in turning over documents to them. Drummond did as the demanded, supplying the Russians with sensitive documents in return for payments of cash.

Transferred to the United States in 1958, but continued supplying to the Soviets from his numerous ports of travel (at various times he was stationed in Norfolk , Virginia, Boston, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island). Many of these documents included training and operating manuals, a large number of which he stole from the Newport Naval Base (the information he passed concerned naval weapons systems and antisubmarine electronics. He turned these documents over to Russian diplomats working out of the United Nations.

Continued his espionage activities until 1964, when the FBI was alerted to his actions. Drummond made a full confession, estimating that he had receive upwards of $20,000 over the period of time. His activities cost the United States more than $200 million, the cost of replacing and revising the documents, manuals and plans he had turned over to the KGB.

He was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, the first Black American ever convicted of espionage.


Russian/Soviet Spies

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