A key witness in a high profile arms trafficking case has been rewarded for his cooperation with the court. A federal judge in Las Vegas sentenced him to eight months of home confinement.
Richard Paul, a resident of Colorado, was one of the three men who accepted plea bargains after admitting they sold weapons for Nicholas Bickle, a Navy SEAL from San Diego. Paul was called to testify against his long-time friend, Bickle.
After Paul’s cooperation, the prosecution asked the court for a sentence reduction but recommended a 51-month prison term. However, Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Hunt granted Paul what he labels as his “great departure” of his career. His reasoning was that Paul has great respect for the law, putting the law before protecting his criminal friend. Paul said Bickle was the source of machine guns and pistols he sold from his home in 2010.
Bickle, 34-years-old, was given an “other than honorable discharge” from the Navy when Hunt ordered him to be arrested by the United States Marshall Service. He has been labeled as the ringleader of a conspiracy to deal unlawfully in firearms, bringing in machine guns from Iraq and selling them for his own profit.