First, despite constant FBI surveillance, he had walked unnoticed into the old Soviet embassy in Washington in 1988 to begin his spy career. Then for three years, during the height of the Cold War, he would simply stuff U.S. military secrets under his Army windbreaker to sell to the Soviets, and again nobody noticed.
However, Boone's luck ran out. A federal complaint alleges that between 1988 and 1991 he stole "highly classified...extremely sensitive" documents detailing "U.S.targeting of tactical nuclear weapons" and "U.S. signals intelligence."
The Cold War was already over by the time Boone retired in 1991, with no one the wiser. But with the fall of communism also came the release of many sensitive Soviet documents. FBI sources say Boone's name was on one of them.
Last month, the retired sergeant jumped at the offer by an FBI agent posing as a Russian to get back in the spy business. He even agreed to fly to Washington for a meeting at a hotel, where agents promptly arrested him.
Before he was arrested, Boone told the undercover FBI agent that the biggest reason he got into espionage was because he needed the money. But if that was the case, he never got much. For four years of spying, the Soviets paid him only $60,000, which breaks down to about $3,700 every time he delivered a secret.
The government said the information was delivered to a Soviet KGB agent Boone knew as "Igor."