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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Navy SEAL accused of selling AK-47 assault rifles

    SAN DIEGO — A Navy SEAL and two other men have been charged with selling prohibited firearms, including AK-47 assault rifles from Iraq and Afghanistan, to undercover federal agents, the U.S. attorney’s office in Las Vegas announced Thursday.

    The SEAL, Nicholas Bickle, 33, of Coronado, Calif., is set to be arraigned in federal court in San Diego. He is part of a SEAL team based in Coronado.

    Richard Paul, 34, of Durango, Colo., and Andrew Kaufman, 36, of Las Vegas, were arrested Wednesday on similar charges and will be arraigned in those locations, prosecutors said.

    The three allegedly sold 18 AK-47s and 14 other firearms to undercover agents for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

    The Russian-designed AK-47, thought by many firearms experts to be the most famous individual weapon of the last century, can fetch a high price on the illicit market, officials said.

    It is illegal to possess an AK-47 without a permit from the U.S. government. It is also illegal to engage in firearms dealing without having paid a special tax, according to Daniel G. Bogden, U.S. attorney for Nevada.

    The weapons were smuggled into the U.S. from Iraq and Afghanistan by U.S. military personnel, according to federal documents.

    If convicted, each defendant could face up to five years in prison.

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