Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes is released from US prison after serving 20 years trends now
Ana Belen Montes, 65, was released on Friday from FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas, a Federal Bureau of Prisons spokesman confirmed.
In 2002 she pleaded guilty to using her senior position at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) to leak information to Havana, including the identities of four US secret agents and information on programs to surveil Cuban weapons.
Montes was sentenced to 25 years in prison, with credit for good behavior leading to her early release, and she will be subject to an additional five years of post-release supervision.
Cuban spy Ana Belen Montes, 65, (seen in 2001) was released on Friday from FMC Carswell in Fort Worth, Texas after serving 20 years behind bars for leaking US secrets
A 'cheat sheet' provided by Cuban intelligence that Montes used to help her encrypt and decrypt messages to and from her handlers is seen in an evidence photo
A US citizen of Puerto Rican descent, Montes began working for the DIA in 1985 and rapidly climbed its ranks to become the agency's top Cuba analyst.
Officials said Montes was believed to have been recruited by Cuban intelligence in 1984, when she worked in a clerical job at the Justice Department.
A grad student at Johns Hopkins at the time, Montes was outspoken in her condemnation of US policy toward Central America, and her views attracted the attention of Cuban intelligence, officials said.
Montes' Cuban handlers asked to seek work at an agency that would provide more useful information to Havana, and she subsequently got the job at DIA, prosecutors said.
Prosecutors said during this time Montes received coded messages from Havana over a short-wave radio as strings of numbers, which she would type onto a decryption-equipped laptop to translate to text.
Montes also used public pay phones to send coded numeric messages to Cuban intelligence, and wrote her ciphers on water-soluble paper for quick destruction, prosecutors said.
Then-CIA Director George Tenet (left) awards Ana Montes a Certificate