Friday, November 5 2010 2:23 PM EDT2010-11-05 18:23:56 GMT
Federal agents seized five pounds of C-4 military explosives from the Colorado home of a man accused with a Navy SEAL and a Las Vegas associate of smuggling machine guns from Iraq intoMore >>
Federal agents seized five pounds of C-4 military explosives from the Colorado home of a man accused with a Navy SEAL and a Las Vegas associate of smuggling machine guns from Iraq into the U.S. for sale and shipment to Mexico, authorities said Thursday.More >>
SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - He's accused of smuggling weapons from war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan and selling them to others here in the United States. On Friday, 33-year-old Navy SEAL Nicholas Bickle was ordered held without bail.
As Bickle's family and friends left his arraignment in federal court Friday, they refused to comment on the host of weapons charges the Coronado-based Navy SEAL now faces.
According to a criminal complaint, the active-duty special warfare operator smuggled in more than 100 firearms from Iraq and Afghanistan and conspired to sell them with two others -- Richard Paul, 34, of Colorado and Andrew Kaufman, 36, of Las Vegas.
Neighbors say Andrew Kaufman's home was always busy with activity and there was a revolving door of trucks on their street.
"We didn't know what was going on," neighbor Rosalynn Nettles-May said.
ATF officers say they recovered five pounds of C-4 military explosives, grenades and night vision goggles from Richard Paul's home in Colorado.
After a five-month-long investigation, undercover officers purchased 18 machine guns and 14 other weapons from the trio and paid between $1,300 and $2,400 for each firearm. The officers say Bickle bragged that the weapons were "throwaway guns" and "untraceable".
Federal prosecutors would not talk on camera, but say, "What we have here is simply greed at any cost," adding "As long as they got paid, they didn't care if the weapons wound up in Mexico or on the streets of Las Vegas."
Because federal charges were filed in Las Vegas, officials still have to decide whether to prosecute Bickle in San Diego or Nevada.
A hearing has been set for Nov. 18 to determine where he'll be tried.