Idaho Native, Convicted CIA Spy Edwin Wilson Dies


Edwin P. Wilson, a man who was born into a Nampa farming family and grew to become one of the most controversial figures in the history of the Central Intelligence Agency—spending 22 years behind bars—has died at the age of 84.

Wilson died Sept. 10 in Seattle from complications from a heart valve replacement surgery, Craig Emmick, a director at Columbia Funeral Home in Seattle, told the Associated Press.

Wilson owned homes around the world, including a 2,338-acre estate in Northern Virginia. He set up shell companies abroad for the CIA and was convicted in 1983 for shipping 20 tons of C-4 plastic explosives to Libya. At his trial, he told the court that he shipped the weapons with the CIA's approval to ingratiate himself with the Libyan government.

"I was buddying up to them," he told the Washington Post in a 2004 interview.

He was convicted and spent 22 years in prison until a federal judge threw out that conviction in 2003, saying the government had covered up information about Wilson's service to the CIA.

"I can't think of one thing I did that I have any guilt about," Wilson told in a 2006 interview. "I didn't hurt anybody. I didn't get anyone killed."

Wilson moved north of Seattle after his 2004 release from prison to live with his brother.