Former Navy SEAL Sentenced For Gun Trafficking

By Al Macias
July 17, 2012

A former Navy SEAL is headed to prison for more than 17 years. He was sentenced Tuesday for his role in an illegal gun trafficking operation. 

Nicholas Bickle was a Navy SEAL who served two tours in Iraq. Investigators say when he returned to his base in San Diego, he conspired with two other men to sell machine guns, grenades, explosives, and other military equipment.

He also sold 30 AK-47 machine guns. Many had markings from the Iraqi army. One of the people who bought the weapons was an undercover officer who said he intended to smuggle the weapons into Mexico.

Prosecutors say Bickle brought the weapons back to San Diego from Iraq in a footlocker with a false bottom. 

He was convicted last year on 13 counts and now faces 17.5 years in prison. Three other men pled guilty to crimes in connection with the smuggling operation.