BOSTON — Five men were sentenced to prison Friday for taking part in a scheme to supply arms to the illegal Irish Republican Army.
U.S. District Judge A. David Mazzone sentenced John MacDonald Jr., 37, described as a "go-between" who introduced an undercover FBI agent to an IRA connection, to 18 months in prison.
His brother, Stephen M. MacDonald, 35, and Roy Paul Willey, 28, received one-year sentences, half of which the judge suspended, and two years of probation with drug and alcohol counseling.
James Boyle, 36, and John Fitzgerald, 30, were sentenced to six months in prison.
All are from the Boston area, and each was charged with one count of conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act.
The five had been charged, along with two Irish citizens, with conspiring to smuggle a planeload of arms to the IRA. They were arrested in May as they were about to load weapons aboard a jet, the prosecution said.