Third man pleads guilty in case of smuggled guns

A third defendant pleaded guilty in federal court Tuesday in a conspiracy with a U.S. Navy SEAL to sell machine guns and other weapons smuggled from the Middle East.

Richard Paul, 35, of Durango, Colo., pleaded guilty to a firearms conspiracy charge and a charge of unlawfully transporting explosives, U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said.

Paul faces an April 15 sentencing before Chief U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt.

Two Las Vegas men, Andrew Kaufman, 36, and Omar Aguirre, 35, pleaded guilty last week in the conspiracy. They are to be sentenced March 25 before Senior U.S. District Judge Lloyd D. George.

Bogden said all three defendants obtained the illegal weapons and explosives overseas through co-conspirator Nicholas Bickle, a Navy SEAL from San Diego.

Bickle, 33, has pleaded not guilty.

More than 70 firearms were smuggled into the country in the conspiracy and then sold in Las Vegas and Colorado, Bogden said. The defendants were charged after a five-month investigation .