'John Doe' spying suspect identified
By CAROL ROSENBERG
Herald Staff Writer
For months they have been John Doe No. 1 and John Doe No. 2 -- two men
accused by the U.S. government of operating here as spies for Fidel Castro.
Now federal agents believe they know the real name of one of them.
But they're not telling -- not the men's lawyers, not the news media, not
They won't even say which of the two men they've identified -- the man who was
known as Manuel Viramontes, 32, or the one known as Luis Medina III, 30.
FBI agents arrested the two on Sept. 15 along with eight others. The 10
accused of spying on Cuban exile organizations and trying to infiltrate such widely
disparate targets as the Pentagon's Southern Command and CAMACOL, the
Latin American Chamber of Commerce.
Five have pleaded guilty to lesser charges of acting as unregistered agents
foreign country. They are expected to turn state's evidence at the September trial
of the other five, who include three "John Does.''
Besides John Does 1 and 2, also facing trial are John Doe No. 3, who was
arrested as Ruben Campa, 33; former Brothers to the Rescue Pilot Rene
Gonzalez, 42, and Antonio Guerrero, who was a civilian employee at the Boca
Chica Naval Air Station, near Key West.
According to a footnote of a filing found in the federal case record Thursday,
prosecutors Caroline Heck Miller and Guy Lewis say FBI agents as long ago as
November ``had determined the true identity'' of either John Doe No. 1, who was
arrested as Viramontes, and accused of being the team's spy master; or of John
Doe No. 2, who was arrested as Medina and shared a Hollywood apartment with
But both prosecutors and FBI spokesman Mike Fabregas on Thursday refused
say which John Doe had been identified -- or reveal his true identity.
Lawyers for both men, meantime, said they had not been notified by the
attorney's office that one of their clients had been identified. "As far as we're
concerned, he's still Manuel Viramontes. No one has told me anything different,''
defense attorney Paul McKenna said.
Federal authorities have claimed in court hearings that the three "John
taken their identities from the names and birth dates of American-born children
who died long ago in Texas.