FBI Charges Former Couple With Espionage
FBI Arrests Former National Guard Officer, Ex-Wife on Espionage Charges

The Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. Feb. 5

FBI agents have arrested a former Washington Army National Guard officer and his ex-wife on espionage charges alleging they attempted to sell national security secrets.

Officials would not give details Wednesday. The indictment includes a reference to a North Carolina lawyer who has represented the Ku Klux Klan and militant anti-tax leaders.

Rafael Davila, 51, and Deborah Davila, 46, were arrested Tuesday and ordered held without bail.

Representatives of the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., the U.S. attorney's office in Spokane and the FBI refused to elaborate on the charges.

"Clearly we can't comment on those things for national security reasons," said Ray Lauer, an FBI spokesman in Seattle.

In court Tuesday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks had said the "case involves the sale of `top secret' and `secret' documents involved with the defense of the United States."

Col. Rick Patterson of the Washington Army National Guard said Davila joined the guard in 1990 and switched in 1997 from infantry to military intelligence, where he could have had access to classified information. Davila left honorably in January 1999.

Patterson said guard officials do not know what the Davila case involves.

The indictment alleges the defendants had unauthorized possession of sensitive documents during 1999.

It also says Deborah Davila lied to federal agents when she said she did not recognize the name of Kirk Lyons, an attorney who has represented leaders of the Klan and the anti-tax Posse Comitatus at trials, and was certain she had never met him.

The indictment does not say what connection, if any, Lyons has with the case.

Lyons, of Black Mountain, N.C., said Wednesday he did not know Rafael Davila, barely knew Deborah Davila and had no connection to any espionage.

"That's the most hilarious, funny, ridiculous thing I've heard in my life," Lyons said. "It sounds like flaky people squealing to the government for money."

Lyons said he knew Deborah Davila from Scottish dance events a decade ago in the Spokane area. He said she also attended his wedding, which was performed by Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler at the hate group's former compound near Hayden, Idaho.

He said Deborah Davila would be an unlikely spy.

"Deborah is a nice girl, but she doesn't have the brains to be a spy," Lyons said.

Davila was arrested at his parents' home in Ontario, Ore., authorities said. His former wife, a special education teacher, was arrested at her home in College Place, near Walla Walla. Both face up to life in prison if convicted.

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