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EX-CIA WORKER SENTENCED TO PRISON IN EXTORTION CASE

A former CIA employee who admitted trying to extort $1 million from the agency in exchange for his silence about eavesdropping operations was sentenced to five years in prison Friday.

When Douglas Fred Groat pleaded guilty to extortion in July, the federal government dropped four charges of espionage, including allegations that he told two foreign governments they were targets of U.S. electronic surveillance.

Groat, 51, said that his actions stemmed from a job dispute with the CIA, which fired him in 1996.

U.S. District Judge Thomas F. Hogan said Groat's actions appeared to stem from his "almost becoming obsessed" about the job dispute. "I don't think at any time you really had any intention of trying to harm our national security," he said.

The judge ordered him to serve three years of supervised release after completing his sentence.

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