The FBI had been keeping tabs on the couple for several years, but ramped up their case in April 2009, when an undercover FBI counterintelligence agent posing as a Cuban representative approached Kendall Myers about doing more work for Cuban intelligence. The undercover operation lured the couple to try and return to their previous spying activity. Prosecutors overseeing the case today said that Gwendolyn was more difficult to convince but that her husband's true reason for spying was that it provided him with excitement.
Assistant US Attorney Michael Harvey told the Judge that in April 2009 Myers told his wife, "I was actually thinking it would be fun to get back into it."
After the couple was arrested in June 2009, they quickly worked towards securing a plea deal with the government to seek leniency for Gwendolyn, who has had extensive health problems. Harvey told Judge Walton Friday that Kendal Myers should be given the maximum sentence for his spying. "He is a traitor," said Harvey. "He betrayed his colleagues at the State Department ... he betrayed his country ... and today shows no remorse."
Before issuing the life sentence for the couple Judge Walton echoed Harvey's statement, saying, "I see no sense of remorse. You were proud of what you did."
Judge Walton, whose grandfather was born into slavery, told the couple he felt America provides a great opportunity to its citizens, "The United States has a lot to be proud of, which is something that you can't seem to acknowledge."
Walton then sentenced Kendall Myers to life in prison without parole. Myers showed little expression when the sentence was announced, and little expression during the almost 90 minute hearing. Gwendolyn showed strain in her face. Noting that Gwendolyn was receiving the benefit of the government's plea deal with the couple, Walton sentenced her to 81 months in federal prison.
The couple has asked that they serve their prison sentences close to each other so that their family of six children and seven grandchildren can visit them.
Asked about the case, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said on Friday, "We believe that in this case of Kendall Myers, the severe punishment was warranted by the nature of his crime. This was a serious breach of national security and, by committing acts of espionage, he grievously violated the confidence placed in him by the Department of State and the American people."