Morton Sobell's "vacation" trip was sudden, indeed. He locked up his house in Flushing, N.Y. one day in June, left a brand-new 1950 Buick in the garage. Without even telling his employers that he was leaving, he bundled his wife, their two children and himself into a commercial airliner, and flew to Mexico City.

Apparently Sobell planned to travel much farther—perhaps to Russia. But last week his travel plans were altered. Picked up on a deportation order, he was whisked across the border before dawn one morning by a mysterious convoy of Mexican secret service agents and deposited at the U.S....

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