First Iran-Contra Participant Goes to Jail

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ARMS middleman and retired Central Intelligence Agency officer Thomas Clines on Monday was to become the first participant in the Iran-contra scandal to go to prison.

Mr. Clines is scheduled to serve a 16-month term at Camp McKean, a minimum-security federal correctional facility in Bradford County, Pa., his lawyer, Tom Spencer, said Sunday night.

A federal appeals court refused to let Clines remain free pending appeal of his convictions for failing to disclose to the US government some of the profits he made from arms deals for the Nicaraguan Contras.

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He is seeking Supreme Court review of the case.

In 1985 and 1986, Clines assisted the secret contra aid network run by White House aide Oliver North, who was assigned by Reagan administration higher-ups to help the rebel force when Congress cut off military aid.

Clines used his contacts in the communist East bloc and Western Europe to arrange the purchase and delivery of rifles, machine guns, grenades, and explosives to the contras fighting Nicaragua's then-leftist government.

Spencer said he expected his client to serve about half of the 16-month term.

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