Local Navy SEAL Accused of Weapon Smuggling

Thursday, Nov 4, 2010  |  Updated 10:30 AM PDT
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Local Navy SEAL Accused of Weapon Smuggling

U.S. Navy

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A Navy special forces SEAL in San Diego and men in Nevada and Colorado are accused of smuggling machine guns from Iraq into the United States for resale on the black market, according to authorities.

36-year-old Nicholas Bickle of San Diego, 36-year-old Andrew Kaufman of Las Vegas and 34-year-old Richard Paul of Durango, Colo., were arrested Wednesday, according to federal officials in Las Vegas.

A complaint unsealed in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas accuses the trio of conspiring to smuggle and sell 18 weapons and 14 other firearms since June to an undercover federal Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent in Las Vegas and Colorado.

Authorities say the weapons included factory-made Iraqi machine guns that would be difficult or impossible to trace.

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