- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 9, 2003

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) National Guard intelligence officer Rafael Davila admits he spent years bringing home secret and top-secret documents, stacking them in his basement and finally in a rented storage locker.
He told the FBI he just wanted to read them.
Now in a case with ties to the shadowy world of white supremacists and anti-government militias, prosecutors are accusing Maj. Davila and his ex-wife, Deborah, of espionage. Investigators are still trying to track down hundreds of files apparently containing information about nuclear, chemical and biological warfare.
A federal indictment charges the Davilas with unauthorized possession of sensitive documents during the first eight months of 1999. Mrs. Davila is also charged with trying to deliver the documents to an unidentified person in August of that year.
During a hearing last week, Maj. Davila, 51, sat silently with Mrs. Davila, 40, as prosecutors vilified them for purportedly exposing the nation to danger from terrorists and anti-government extremists.
"He doesn't care about the national security interest of the United States," Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks said of Maj. Davila. A judge ordered the two held without bail.
The Davilas, whose marriage crumbled in 1999 after less than a year, have pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors said there is no evidence that foreign governments are involved in the case.
The investigation actually began in 1999 after Mrs. Davila called FBI agents in Spokane and told them she had secret documents obtained by her husband. But instead of cooperating, she repeatedly lied to agents and obstructed the investigation, Mr. Hicks said.
The FBI found that more than 300 top-secret documents were illegally distributed by Mrs. Davila to addresses in North Carolina, Texas and Georgia in exchange for $2,000, prosecutors said.
The documents, which originally filled 12 to 15 boxes, have not been recovered, the FBI said. It was not clear to whom the documents were given.
The government has refused to disclose the contents of the secret files, but an FBI agent said they had titles like "strategic, Korea, Russia, chemical warfare, chemical mixtures, nuclear, biological."
According to the transcript of a rambling interview Maj. Davila gave the FBI in January 2000, he said he stole documents while he was a senior military intelligence officer with a top-secret rating with the Washington National Guard's 96th Troop Command, based in Tacoma.
"All classified documents I received, I took home and stored," he told the FBI. "Because of the volume of the information and the fact that I never got around to reading them, I cannot remember specific classified documents.
"I blame the military for my access to classified documents and to my failure to properly handle, store, destroy or safeguard them because the Army freely gave me the documents and access," he said.
Col. Rick Patterson of the Washington Army National Guard, where Maj. Davila was an officer from 1990-1999, said the agency has extensive procedures to safeguard classified documents.
"People don't just walk away with documents," Col. Patterson said. "It sounds so absurd to me."
Maj. Davila said he joined the Army out of high school in 1969, served 18 months in Vietnam and became a Special Forces soldier who won the Bronze Star. He spent 30 years in the Army and reserve units in Tacoma, Wenatchee and Spokane, eventually rising to the rank of major.
He blamed the missing documents on his wife, his fourth, telling the FBI "she had all of my stored records." FBI Agent Leland McEuen also told the judge last week: "She tried to set up her husband to take the blame for her selling those documents."

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