Two men were arrested in New York, Oct 27, by FBI agents on spying charges.?
Two men were arrested in New York, Oct 27, by FBI agents on spying charges. They are Igor Yakovlevich Melekh, 47, a Russian, and Willie Hirsch, 52, an illustrator. Named as co-conspirator, but not as a defendant, was Kirill S Doronkin, also a Russian national, formerly a film editor with the Radio and Visual Division of Public Information at the United Nations Secretariat.
Melekh and Hirsch were charged with conspiring to obtain US Defense information for transmission to Russia. FBI Director Edgar Hoover disclosed that his agents moved swiftly against the men, arresting them shortly after indictments were issued by a Federal Grand Jury. Warrants for the arrest were issued by a US District Judge in Chicago. The US Mission to the UN requested the Secretary General January 15th 1959 to dismiss Doronkin because of activities in obtaining aerial photographs of the Chicago area. Doronkin's contract with UN expired Mar 3 1959, he was not reemployed, and left for Russia Mr 11th.
In addition to the conspiracy charges, Melekh and Hirsch have been charged with conspiring to violate a law requiring agents of a foreign government to register with the Secretary of State. Attorney General William P Rogers said Melekh had sought US Intelligence data in New York, Newark New Jersey, and Chicago. These data included a map of Chicago showing military installations and aerial photographs of the city. If convicted, both would face a maximum penalty of $25,000 fine and 25 years imprisonment.