SEALs are given access to the best weapons. While they get their pick of the newest and most exclusive arms on the planet, the temptation to profit from the access proved too great for Navy SEAL Nicholas Bickle.Bickle was found guilty Friday of 13 federal charges for moving a catalogue of small arms and five pounds of C-4 explosive.
According to The Washington Post, the ATF tracked Bickle’s shipments from Iraq and Afghanistan to Las Vegas, his apartment in San Diego, Durango, Colo. and El Cajon, Calif.
The weapons were kept with Bickle and in storage units, but the C4 was held by a close friend, Richard Paul.
For his part in the crime, Paul, 35, pleaded guilty and faces up to 15 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for conspiracy and explosive transport charges when he is sentenced Oct. 28.
As prosecutors made their closing arguments they stood amid piles of night vision goggles, ammunition, sniper rifles, rifle scopes, AK47s, M92 machine guns, and a wheeled foot locker with a false bottom for hiding Ruger 9mm sidearms used by the military.
Despite arguments by Bickle’s lawyer that they should show leniency to a decorated combat vet who had a role in the movie Transformers: Dark of the Moon, the jury found Bickle guilty of conspiracy to deal in stolen firearms; dealing in firearms without a licence; possession and transfer of machine guns; possession, concealment, sale and disposition of stolen firearms; receiving, concealing and retaining property of the United States; and transportation and distribution of explosives.
The former sailor faces up to 125 years in prison and a $3.25 million fine, but sentencing guidelines could offer prison time of less than 20 years.
Bickle is free on bail and under electronic monitoring in San Diego. He faces sentencing January 20.
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