In June 1957 Airman First Class Robert G. Thompson, assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations in West Berlin, volunteered to sell information to the Soviets. He continued to do so until he was transferred to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana. Even after he was discharged in 1958, he remained in contact with the Soviets. Thompson was finally arrested in 1965 in New York and was sentenced to 30 years in prison, having admitted to selling between 50 and 100 documents every fortnight for about three months in 1957.
After his imprisonment, Thompson claimed to be a Soviet illegal and pressed for his release in a spy swap, which was eventually granted in July 1969 when he was exchanged for Anatoli Shcharansky. Thompson was resettled in East Berlin under the alias Gregor Best and was employed by the Hauptverwaltung Aufklärung as a false flag recruiter, posing as a Central Intelligence Agency officer supposedly anxious to seek help in conducting investigations into the staff of NATO member embassies.