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Ex-CIA Agent Said Working for Cuban Intelligence

March 23, 1988

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Frank E. Terpil, a fugitive former CIA agent turned gunrunner, went to Cuban four years ago and works for that country’s intelligence service, a Cuban defector says.

Maj. Florentino Aspillaga Lombard, in an interview with The Washington Times published on Wednesday, said Terpil has helped the Cuban DGI intelligence agency recruit Americans and conduct counterintelligence operations.

Aspillaga, a career employee of the DGI until he defected to the United States last June, also said Nicaragua’s Sandinista government is under the ″complete control″ of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

At the time of his defection, which took place in Vienna, Austria, Aspillaga was the head of the DGI in Czechoslovakia.

Aspillaga said Terpil ″travels with a Cuban passport and was with me in Czechoslovakia.″ The Cuban said he hoped to bring Terpil with him to Vienna, but Cuban intelligence officers blocked Terpil from leaving the East Bloc.

Terpil, a fugitive since 1980, was convicted in absentia in May 1981 of conspiring to sell machine guns to undercover agents posing as South American revolutionaries. He was sentenced to 53 years in prison.

Terpil and former CIA agent Edwin Wilson were also charged with selling explosives to Libyan leader Moammar Khadafy. Wilson was convicted and sentenced in the case.

After fleeing the United States, Terpil was reported living in Lebanon.

The Justice Department spokesman John Russell said he had no information about Terpil’s activities.

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