Fidel Castro’s Girlfriend Accuses Watergate Burglar Frank Sturgis of Threatening Her

U.S. v. Barker, 514 F.2d 208 (D.C. Cir. 1975)

Frank Sturgis was born in 1924. He served in several branches of the US Armed Forces, working his way up to covert ops in Berlin. He moved to Miami in 1957. During frequent excursions to Cuba, he trained Castro’s guerilla forces and ran guns for the rebels. Sturgis very likely engaged in these activities as a contract agent for the CIA.

During his time in Cuba, Sturgis enlisted Marita Lorenz—Castro’s sometime girlfriend—as a fellow spy. Around January 1960, Sturgis and Lorenz attempted to assassinate the dictator. Sturgis gave Lorenz two poison capsules, and she concealed them in a jar of cold cream. The pills dissolved.

Sturgis was arrested as one of the five Watergate burglars in 1972. He served 13 months and was released in January 1974.

The sketch here is from 1977, when he appeared in a New York courtroom on allegations he had threatened Marita Lorenz. Lorenz claimed Sturgis had ordered her not to speak with the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations, a group conducting an inquiry into the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy. The charges were dismissed, and Sturgis was even awarded a settlement by New York City for false arrest.