Watergate burglar Frank Sturgis, claiming that he has "friends in high places" who owe him favors, was arrested on charges of promising an undercover agent to get someone out of jail in exchange for watches worth $75,000, police said today.
Officers said Sturgis, 62, and his partner, Emiljo Cotonat, 47, who were taken into custody together late Wednesday, were charged with dealing in stolen property. Further charges are expected.
Police Sgt. Tom Tretola, who led the three-week investigation, said Sturgis told the undercover policeman that "he had friends in high places, people who owe me favors" who could free prisoners early.
Sturgis, who ran an electronics store in Miami until four years ago, now lists his occupation as a consultant. Cotonat, who is from Spain, said he is in marketing.
Sturgis, a former CIA employee, was among the five Watergate "plumbers" caught at Democratic National Committee headquarters June 17, 1972. He pleaded guilty to charges of burglary, wiretapping and conspiracy and spent 13 months in prison.
In November, 1973, he was convicted in Miami of transporting stolen cars to Mexico, but the nine-month sentence was set aside because he helped federal narcotics agents.