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Last living Watergate burglar dead at 98

Martinez was a member of the five-man team that broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in June 1972.

Updated: February 4, 2021 - 2:07pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The last surviving burglar in the 1972 Watergate break-in, which led to the resignation of then-President Richard Nixon, has died.

Eugenio Martinez, a Cuban exile who worked for the CIA, died in his daughter's home near Orlando, Fla., at the age of 98, according to the Children of the Brigade 2506, a veterans group of Martinez's fellow anti-Communist Cuban exiles.

Their abortive invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961 to overthrow the government headed by Fidel Castro was covertly supported by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to The New York Times.

Martinez's cause of death has not yet been disclosed.

Martinez was a member of the five-man team that broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters on June 17, 1972. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy, burglary and wiretapping charges early the next year. Martinez, along with the other burglars.

He served about 15 months in prison.

Martinez and three of the other burglars sued former Nixon campaign officials, alleging they were tricked into believing they were going to work on ensuring national security. They each received a $50,000 out-of-court settlement in 1977.

In 1983, Martinez received a pardon from then-President Ronald Reagan. He was the only burglar in the Watergate scandal to receive a pardon.

Nixon was pardoned by President Gerald Ford, his successor.

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