Michael Peri

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Michael A. Peri
Born 1967 (age 47–48)
Nationality American
Known for Cold War

Michael Peri (born 1967) was a Military Intelligence Electronic Warfare Signals Analyst for the United States Army during the Cold War, who was convicted of espionage in 1989 and sentenced to 30 years in prison.


On February 20, 1989, Peri vanished from the 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR) in Fulda, Germany. An exhaustive search was conducted to locate him when it was discovered that he had stolen a portable computer that was used to store classified military defense plans. Peri was not found, although it was suspected that he had defected to East Germany when a HMMWV that he had stolen was located near the East German border.[1] 11 days later, for reasons that have never been fully explained, Peri turned himself in at the front gate of the 11th ACR.[2] He was court-martialed for espionage, where he was convicted on June 25, 1989, and sentenced to 30 years.[3][4] Even after the conclusion of the court-martial, investigators were perplexed at what has caused this turn of events. Peri had twice been nominated for a "Soldier of the Month" award in his unit. The best possibility to explain the attempted espionage is that Peri felt overworked and taken for granted by his superiors, which caused him to make a rash decision. Overcome by a guilty conscience, he voluntarily returned to West Germany to face the charges against him. Unofficially, soldiers serving with him at the time cite that Peri had fallen under the influence of a female East German spy, who promoted Peri's disgruntlement. Being young and inexperienced, Peri was found to be an easy target to influence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Laguna Niguel GI Missing; Army Fears He's Defected : His Mother Expresses Concern". latimes.com. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  2. ^ "A G.I. in Germany is Accused of Spying". nytimes.com. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "Soldier Who Left Post in West Germany Is Charged". latimes.com. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 
  4. ^ "A U.S. Soldier Who Defected Is Given 30 Years for Spying". nytimes.com. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 

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