Andrew Kauffman and Omar Aguirre, both accused of being involved in a weapons smuggling operation that included Navy SEAL Nicholas Bickle, have pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against them, according to a report on the Navy Times.
The two men entered their plea before Senior U.S. District Court Judge Lloyd George in Las Vegas on Thursday, according to a statement released by U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden.
Their guilty pleas are in contrast to the pleas entered by Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Nicholas Bickle, and his friend Richard Paul. Both pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy, weapons, explosives, firearms trafficking, weapon registration and dealing in firearms without a license, also on Thursday, in Las Vegas. This was revealed by Natalie Collins, a spokeswoman for Bogden.
Paul and Bickle were allowed to remain free until their trial on January 24.
Their guilty pleas could mean up to 15 years imprisonment for conspiracy and illegal transfer of a machine gun for Kauffman, and up to five years imprisonment for conspiracy for Aguirre, based on the plea agreement. Their sentencing has been scheduled for March 25.
Both Kauffman and Aguirre are expected to testify against Bickle and Paul.
According to prosecutors, the mastermind and chief weapons smuggler is Bickle, while Paul has been identified as the primary seller. The operation sold handguns and machine guns to an undercover agent of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who said that the weapons were destined for shipment into Mexico. The smuggling was reportedly made possible by the fact that SEALs were not searched when they returned home from deployments.