Rolando Sarraff Trujillo - How Intel lost its Pents
    The Pentium road stand

    I started to peddle Intel’s technology right out in the open the first week I got to Buenos Aires in September
    of 1994. I didn’t put a cart on the road next to a farmer’s market, but I did approach the embassies because
    there was no other way to make contact. I first visited the Iranian Embassy oblivious to the fact that the
    Argentine Intelligence Service (SIDE) suspected the Iranians of the two terrorist bombings of Jewish
    organizations in Argentina – the Embassy of Israel and the AMIA. Later, I visited the Chinese Embassy. The
    SIDE operatives must have wondered who the suspicious ‘gringo’ was that appeared on their radars and
    almost certainly passed this  information to their CIA and FBI buddies who were helping them pin the donkey
    on the Iranians. It didn’t take long for them to find out. Meanwhile, I was having a little bit of trouble convincing
    the Iranians and the Chinese to buy the Pentium specs, but that would all soon change as well. Neither Intel
    nor AMD had placed me out of the reach  of their radars, and all parties were moving their players into position.

    Fearing that sooner or later the SIDE and the CIA would preempt me, perhaps by taking my tapes and
    documents away, possibly through a black bag operation or via an official search warrant, I decided to hide
    my cache of tapes in a secure place. My good old friend Esteban Karagumechian suggested that I bury the
    tapes at the Bosques de Ezeiza, a forest area near the airport. He drove me to the airport one night and I
    barely got out of the car with a shovel and three bags when the cops were upon us. Esteban managed to get
    away, but I was on foot and had no chance.

    The cops arrested me with my entire cargo. They put me in a small cell of a ‘comisaria’, a sheriff’s office not
    much bigger than Andy Griffith’s Mayberry jail. The officer in charge, Inspector Juan Acuña, got in touch with
    the SIDE which relayed the news to the CIA. At about   2:00 o’clock in the morning I was awakened and
    paraded through a double line of about 30 or 40 intelligence officers standing against the walls of the narrow
    hallway that led to an empty room in the back. The crème du la crème of Argentina’s intelligence agency had
    been scrambled out of their beds and ordered to appear at the Comisaria Barrio 1 Ezeiza. The head of the
    task force, General Antonietti, walked in behind me and everyone gave him a military salute. Then those
    present followed the general into the room and stood against the walls all around me. Antonietti pulled a chair
    in front of where I was seated, but turned it around and sat cowboy-like, leaning his arms on the backrest in
    front of him, looking at me straight in the eyes.

    The SIDE interrogated me until 5 or 6 in the morning, yet the only thing I could think of was my growling
    stomach. I  hadn’t had a bite since the previous day’s lunch. An agent named Hector Gatti, whom everyone
    called ‘Gato’  likely due to the similarity of his name to the Spanish word ‘cat’, brought me some breakfast
    and told me that the CIA wanted to talk to me, that I was a ‘person of interest’.


    “Do you want to talk to them?”

    “Sure! No problem!”

    “Why do they want to talk to you?”

    “Maybe you should ask them.”


    Sheriff (Comisario) Seifert let me go the following day, but retained my belongings. I tried to get them back,
    arguing that it was my personal property. The SIDE replied that Judge Alberto Santamarina of the Lomas de
    Zamora County had to release the property. Of course, the blessed judge was nowhere to be found for three
    days and his secretaries kept putting me off saying he was busy or out to lunch. He finally authorized the
    return of my property, but I found all the tapes wound fast forward to the end as if they had been copied.
    The judge had deliberately delayed the return of my tapes to give the SIDE enough time to do its work. I
    reasoned that Argentina now had the Pentium as well. When Intel  Security Chief Steve Lund called me a
    couple of days later to make an appointment  with me in Buenos Aires, I had bad news for him, but I couldn't
    tell him over the phone.

    AMD

    A few days after Gatti approached me, AMD’s Security Chief Pete Costner told me that he had received
    the package that 'I had sent'. He added that the company was interested in what I had sent and that he
    would  appreciate me sending some more. Of course, he was clumsily just trying to lure me into making
    a profitable deal over the phone so that he could have evidence that I was up to no good. I was doing
    alright with the Iranians and the Chinese. What purpose would I have for sending AMD a package,
    especially knowing that the companies would not really deal with me, but rather attempt to put me in
    prison? FBI Special Agent Dave Johnson would tell the amusing fib in court that I wanted to make it up
    to the company for having swiped its technology for so many  years and given it to the Cubans. What a
    load of... Sometimes I wonder whether people actually believe the ridiculous explanations of government
    officials.

    I told Costner a couple of things that I was certain the FBI agents working overtime on damage control, in
    their quest to heal AMD's wounds after my defection, had withheld from him. I asked him whether Jim King,
    whom Costner was in permanent contact with, had told him that I was an illegal alien. I also told him that
    I had a recording that FBI Special Agent had also recorded with my blessing in which the agents ask me
    to get AMD property that the Cubans had requested and provide it to the agencies. The CIA would
    determine whether they would provide the Cubans with any of it in order to keep them thinking that
    everything was okay on my side of the fence. I also told him that I had been arrested in Buenos Aires
    and that the Argentine intelligence service as well as the CIA in Buenos Aires had copies of both AMD
    and Intel technology. All three were news to Costner's ears.
The headline on October 8 read:
"Double Agent Captured in Ezeiza"
An article on October 9 explains that I was under questioning by
General Antonietti and that my things were being inspected.

    Grant arranged to meet me at the airport around the 13th of June, but I rarely did as the agencies expected
    me to. I traveled to the U.S. on the 8th knowing full well that sooner or later I would be arrested. On the one
    hand, I wanted to get the whole thing over with. Therefore, I went feeling relieved. On the other, I believed
    that they did not have a case. So I was traveling quite calmly and self-assured. Nevertheless, if they were
    going to arrest me, I wanted it to be at my home and not at the airport. I was bringing some evidence with
    me and didn't want it expropriated.

    Grant did in fact appear at my home a couple of times after I arrived and we had a couple of brief chats.
    What I didn't know was that the U.S. Attorney was already playing underhanded games of his own, some
    of the tricks the U.S. Government does to defendants to win cases by hook or crook. Grant had retired
    from the FBI and was now an ordinary citizen. I wasn't talking to an FBI agent. I was talking to a neighbor.
    This sleight of hand would come in handy for the prosecution later on. As a defendant, Under Rule 16 of the
    Federal Code, you have the right  to request every statement you ever made to a Government agent. Grant
    wasn't one of them after he retired and so the U.S. Attorney never gave me those statements.

    I traveled to San Francisco to meet a contact the Chinese Embassy in Buenos Aires had given me. When I
    returned, I got a job just to keep things going. However, the relationship with the Chinese wouldn't last long.
    The FBI arrested me in September and I was now a prisoner of the United States. The U.S. Attorney would
    later provide me under Rule 16 a fax I sent to Zhang. The Government would purportedly argue that I was
    peddling or at least attempting to peddle Intel technology around the world.

    As predicted, the FBI finally showed up in September. About a dozen agents arrested me and were nice
    enough to clean my house. They took box after box of documents, video tapes and other TV shows that I
    had recorded. I had wanted to get rid of all that junk for months and it took the entire force of the Justice
    Department just a few hours to do it.



    You have the right to remain silent

    In court I presented a Motion to Dismiss the charges, arguing that there was no case against me. My
    arguments were straight forward:


    1. Steal, you can only steal tangibles. The correct word for intangibles was ‘copy’.
    You can tell that someone stole your shoe because you are deprived of its use.
    When you copy technology, the owner may not even be aware of the loss. Intel
    didn’t stop running because I ‘stole’ their technology.

    2. More basic, assuming that what I did was ‘steal’ intellectual property, that property
    belonged not to Intel. The company could not prove that it registered the alleged
    ‘property’ anywhere.

    What had happened in the last 20 or 30 years was that companies like Intel
    decided to keep their manufacturing processes secret. They did not and still
    have not patented their processes. Yet when someone like me comes along
    they want governmental protection. They want the federal prosecutor to treat
    it as a criminal case as opposed to resolve it through copyrights. My case would
    induce Congress to tweak the Trade Secrets Law to protect American technology
    which is not patented or protected by copyrights. In essence, companies like
    Intel now have secret, perpetual patents which have protection under the law.

    3. Intel and AMD have pretty much the same processes. Therefore, there was
    no motive for this alleged crime. No money was requested nor was anyone
    threatened. AMD returned the tapes to Intel. Therefore, neither company
    suffered any damage. It could have been a crime if the technology was given
    to another country, but that was not what they charged me with. So, what was
    the crime?

    4. There is no federal crime of theft other than of government property. Intel and
    AMD are private companies. If this was a crime of theft, the case had to be
    tried in a state court. The federal courts had no jurisdiction.


    However, you find out how U.S. law actually works when you are in the hot seat. The prosecutors brushed
    all those sound arguments aside with one quick sweep of the broom and said,

    “If you don’t plead guilty, we will go after Nila. The Arizona prosecutors are looking
    into some of those fake IDs you made. More than five and she could face up to
    five years, one per each card, ha, ha, ha!”

    Somehow, they had made their point and I started to see it their way. The U.S. legal system has a way of
    making you realize that the idealistic notion that the average Joe out there has of how the law works and is
    enforced has nothing to do with reality.

    However, I have to hand it to the U.S. Attorneys. The prosecutors were considerate. They used the fake
    IDs as a stick to prod me forward, but they also put a carrot at the end of a string in front of me to entice
    me to take a bite. They pitched in a letter of recommendation to the Immigration Service so that the
    Government wouldn’t deport me… even though they knew I was an illegal alien. The FBI report that they
    had given me under Rule 16 material stated on its first page that I had come into the U.S. as a tourist and
    simply overstayed my visa. The workings of the U.S. justice system was quite an eye opener.

    The final Plea Agreement read that they would not prosecute my wife and that they would recommend to
    the INS that the U.S. not deport me.

    It was not a bad deal at all considering that I would only get 33 months, of which I had already done about
    a third. The alternative was to get my dear wife in trouble, have the U.S. deny my subpoena of William
    Ortman on National Security grounds, bring the lying FBI agents to court… Who would the jury believe? A
    guy who admitted that he filmed the specs off the screen to do Intel wrong or a couple of respectable,
    well-dressed law enforcement agents? I was looking at a maximum of 15 years and two of the seven
    court-appointed lawyers I fired told me that the U.S. Attorney was going for seven and a half years if I
    went to trial. After me, the U.S. amended the Trade Secrets Law and now people get 25 years for the
    same crime.

    But the U.S. is more treacherous than the worst double agent. The INS wiped its butt clean with the
    recommendation and went out of its way to deport me. Of course, the INS also knew that I was an illegal
    alien, but couldn’t bring a case under that perspective because it would be a violation of my plea agreement.
    They treated me in court as a legal alien, and both the Circuit and Supreme Courts looked the other way.
    It’s how law is done in America.

    Intel

    Steve Lund finally got the okay to travel to Buenos Aires. Intel probably ruminated the issue at length because
    of concerns for Lund's personal security while in Argentina. The company eventually made arrangements
    through the  U.S. and Argentine Governments to guarantee his safety. Maybe they feared that I would kill
    him or something... The truth was exactly in reverse. If there was someone who had something to fear it
    was me. The Cubans had taught me a thing or two about being followed and, no doubt in my mind, some
    faces were reappearing on the street every now and then. The phone also started making more clicks than
    usual, and I was receiving my fair share of 'wrong number' calls. Were they testing the line? Checking where
    I was?

    We arranged to meet at the Sheraton Hotel and, having nothing to lose, I had a frank dialogue with Lund. He
    told me that Intel was upset at the FBI for not telling the company about my past when I was hired. I told him
    that the FBI was even more involved than he thought, that I wasn't the only bad guy in this matter. I made
    him aware that Special Agents Jim King and Bob Baker had started recording me with my authorization in
    our second meeting at my home in Texas. In both that meeting as well as the one on the third day they asked
    me to prepare for them the technology that I was supposed to give to Luis Aguero at the border town of
    Piedras Negras, Mexico, on the 20th of September of 1992:


    •     Device handbooks for a family of high density EE-CMOS PALs called MACH 1 and 2

    •     The MMI (Company that AMD bought out) PAL C22V10 Manchester Encoder Circuit

    •     The specification for Scanning Electron Microscope Sample Preparation.

    •     The 16-series spec on aluminum current density.


    They told me that the CIA would evaluate whether the U.S. would risk giving that technology to Cuba through
    Luis  in order to keep the Cubans believing that everything was normal. I recorded those meetings as well.
    The only issue I had in my mind was whether they would allow me to introduce the recordings in court if my
    case ever went to trial. I gave King the technology the following week only to hear that the CIA had decided
    against me going. The main reason I had escaped to Germany was that I believed that King had tricked me
    into giving him material  evidence plus my voluntary confession. What purpose did all that have other than to
    prosecute me if I wasn't going to keep my appointment with Luis? And the fact that not a single Cuban agent
    ever showed up at my places in Argentina when I skipped my meeting with Luis in September also indicated
    that Fidel was well aware of what Pepe, Roly, and Lazara were doing on his behalf. Lund took notes and I
    figured that he was going to share the information with his nemesis Pete Costner when he got back.

    But AMD wasn't the only party which the FBI asked me to take information from. I told Lund that Special
    Agent  John Grant had requested and took the 6295 Runcard, the recipe used to manufacture a series of
    Intel chips. Grant had requested that technology in a meeting at my house and I prepared for his visit before
    he showed up. While we talked, Grant had handled the runcard and put his fingerprints all over it, asking me
    questions about it. Then I switched them on him and gave him another one without him noticing. I kept the
    one with his fingerprints. Grant would later add to the body of evidence I was collecting on him when he sent
    me a fax asking me whether the 6295 was a critical Intel technology. Why would the FBI be interested in
    such a question unless the agency  was pondering to do something with it. The point was that the FBI  did in
    fact ask me to go into these two companies and steal technology which I then gave to its agents. Then they
    left me out in the cold washing their hands of the entire matter once the counter-espionage operation against
    the Cubans went nowhere. The evidence  I had painstakingly collected against the FBI would serve to compel
    the U.S. District Attorney to reach an agreement on  a low sentence when plea bargaining time came around.

    Lund lodged a complaint against me in Argentina on behalf of Intel Corporation. He obtained a search warrant
    from an Argentine judge and with the police entered and searched my brother's home where I was staying.
    The searchers removed a Samsonite suitcase that belonged to me. Argentina then transferred my property
    to the U.S. Attorney in California. What none of them knew was that the suitcase was a Trojan Horse. I had
    deliberately placed exculpatory and other evidence that I wanted to somehow introduce in court officially if
    the case ever came to trial. I told my brother to give the suitcase to the police if they ever showed up with a
    search warrant.

    Ironically, the news of my detention was a blessing in disguise. My arrest had an ironic twist, making things
    easier for me in an unexpected way. I had arranged two appointments at a popular restaurant, one with the
    Iranians and the other with the Chinese, both of whom were somewhat reluctant to deal with me initially.
    However, when I showed the Iranians the newspapers that covered the story of my arrest their interest went
    up noticeably. The Chinese also were somewhat amused and started showing a little more interest. I proposed
    to each side that I could 'educate' their engineers in subsequent meetings and they agreed. The meetings
    turned out be question and answer workshops. For the next couple of months I would make several
    appointments with them at the popular Banchero Pizzeria. We would review the specs over lunch or dinner,
    usually at a corner table, and they would ask technical questions between jokes and tongue-pulling about FBI
    methods.

    Meanwhile, SIDE agents Javier (a.k.a. 'Corcho'), who was head of the Cuba Section of the SIDE, Nestor
    Heredia, Gustavo Gomez, Claudio Grandio, and Hector 'Gato' Gatti would come regularly and invite me to
    lunch with the excuse that they wanted to learn more about Cuban intelligence. On October 12th, they took
    me to the Hyatt where I met with William Ortman, the head of the CIA in Buenos Aires. Ortman wanted to
    know a couple of things about Pepe and Roly, but I told him that I wouldn’t cooperate until I got some
    assurances that the U.S. would not  request my extradition. I had no idea at the time that Pepe had rafted
    out of the island. Ortman gave me his number at the U.S. Embassy and looked at me straight in the eyes
    without blinking. He told me to call him "…if I changed my mind". It was an unmistakable threat. The CIA
    apparently decided that the U.S. did not have enough evidence or legal justification to file a formal
    extradition request with the Argentine Government. The agency was going to handle this in a different way.

    In February I found out what the CIA was up to. SIDE Agent Gatti appeared out of nowhere at a supermarket
    near my brother’s house where I was staying and told me that he had something to tell me.

    “The CIA asked us to send a package to the U.S.”

    “Why are you telling me this, Gatti?”

    “They also asked us to tell you.”

    The FBI damage control team

    Meanwhile, Special Agent Grant was worried that what AMD and Intel were doing with the U.S. Attorney
    would drag the FBI -- specifically himself and Special Agent Jim King -- into the courtroom as well. Grant
    was not aware that I had 20 dollar bills with his fingerprints on them as well as a couple of money orders
    he issued to me and which I never cashed. He had begun to sign with another name on a couple of them
    to erase his footprints, but it  was clear that the handwriting was the same. A handwriting expert I hired
    after I went to court would later establish that the handwriting belonged to the same person. This body of
    evidence was supported by videos that clearly showed Grant paying me.

    Grant called me several times and wanted to know what Lund and I had discussed. Realizing that Jim King
    and he could be in trouble, he suggested that we meet in Mexico City before I returned to the U.S. The FBI
    wanted to evaluate the extent of its agents' exposure.
Rolando Sarraff Trujillo


Confessions of a Spy

War of the Words

Betrayer Betrayed

How Intel lost its Pents

...didn't out Ana Montes
Carrot and stick

How the U.S. Attorney won the case

Why... visitation rights, of course...
if you{re lucky...

Home      

Nila and Bill      

Extinction       

Mathematical Physics      
Rope Hypothesis    
Ye Olde You Stupid Relativist