Arrested in their Manhattan apartment on charges of spying for Russia, Lithuanian-born Jack Soble and his wife Myra replied "not guilty" when a clerk at the federal courthouse last February asked them how they pleaded. Last week, pale, haggard but looking strangely relaxed, the Sobles switched their plea to guilty on a count of conspiring with Soviet agents to "receive and obtain" U.S. defense secrets. Maximum sentence: $10,000 fine and ten years' imprisonment.

In the two-month interval, a lot had happened to Jack Soble, 53, and his Russian-born wife, 53 (TIME, Feb. 4). They...

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