A former Navy SEAL who smuggled machine guns home from Iraq so they could be sold on the streets was sentenced Tuesday to more than 17 years in federal prison and three years of supervised release, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
in a Las Vegas courtroom in October of 13 federal conspiracy and arms trafficking charges. His case was tried in Nevada because the investigation began with a tip that a Las Vegas resident was involved, according to authorities.
Prosecutors said during l that he smuggled as many as 100 guns in a footlocker with a false bottom, then gave the weapons to civilian friends to sell on the streets.
The footlocker, along with 3,000 rounds of military ammunition, detonating equipment and two Ruger handguns, was recovered in a storage unit Bickle kept in San Diego.
Three co-conspirators pleaded guilty prior to Bickle's trial and testified against him, identifying Bickle as the ringleader of the operation. The motive was strictly about profit, according to the prosecution.
Since his conviction, Bickle, who was based in Coronado, has received an other-than-honorable discharge from the Navy. The disgraced serviceman, who was a member of SEAL Team 5, wore his uniform during trial in what was widely reported to be an unsuccessful bid to impress jurors.
– City News Service