A Navy SEAL in California and men in Nevada and Colorado have been arrested and accused of smuggling machine guns from Iraq into the United States for resale on the black market, federal authorities said Thursday.
The special forces SEAL, Nicholas Bickle, 33, of San Diego, Las Vegas resident Andrew Kaufman, 36, and Richard Paul, 34, of Durango, Colo., were arrested Wednesday in those cities, the U.S. attorney’s office in Las Vegas said.
A complaint filed Oct. 29 and unsealed Wednesday 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.
Bickle is accused of smuggling about 80 AK-47 weapons from Iraq or Afghanistan, including factory-made 7.62 mm Iraqi machine guns that the complaint said would be difficult or impossible to trace. Other weapons included Ruger handguns.
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