Morton Sobell was an engineer who worked for General Electric and Reeves Electronics on military and government contracts. He and his family had earlier fled to Mexico in June 1950 to avoid espionage charges, but had been forcibly repatriated by an armed gang two months later. In 1951, he was tried for espionage along with Ethel Rosenberg and Julius Rosenberg. All three were found guilty; while the Rosenbergs were sentenced to death, Sobell was sentenced to 30 years in prison. He was released in 1969 after 18 years.