updated 9/20/2010 9:03:02 AM ET 2010-09-20T13:03:02

An autopsy shows that a top Russian spy who defected to the United States choked to death on a piece of meat.

A Florida medical examiner's report obtained by The Associated Press shows that Sergei Tretyakov also had a cancerous tumor in his colon.

The 53-year-old spy died suddenly June 13.

Tretyakov had run the Russian espionage operation from the United Nations before he defected in 2000. It was one of the most prominent cases involving Russia's intelligence agency in the past decade.

Tretyakov later said his agents helped the Russian government steal nearly $500 million from the U.N.'s oil-for-food program in Iraq.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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