Ex-Navy officer indicted over machine guns

/ Source: The Associated Press

A former Navy lieutenant who lost his post as a ship supply officer after ordering hundreds of unneeded parts was indicted on federal charges of illegally possessing 60 machine guns.

The grand jury indictment handed down Thursday against David Carmel, 32, came weeks after he was accused by U.S. prosecutors in New York of selling stolen military equipment.

The new indictment said the machine guns were found on Carmel's property in Gilman, about 120 miles east of Minneapolis, and that none was properly registered. The search also turned up boxes of gun parts, artillery shells, grenades and a rocket launcher, authorities said.

The charges filed in New York on May 21 accuse Carmel of selling stolen U.S. military laser targeting devices and machine gun parts to an undercover agent.

That complaint said Carmel purchased hundreds of laser sights, machine gun barrels, night vision goggles and machine gun parts for the minesweeper USS Shrike when he was a supply officer on the ship, though it didn't need such equipment. He was relieved of his supply-officer duties, and later left the Navy in November 2005, the complaint said.

Neither the New York nor the Wisconsin complaint says what became of the equipment Carmel ordered. But he told investigators in jail that he moved gun barrels and ammunition to Wisconsin when he left the military and also bought machine gun barrels from commercial sources.

Carmel's attorney, T. Christopher Kelly, didn't return a message seeking comment.

Both complaints say the case began last year when federal agents discovered someone selling military scopes on the Internet. They tracked the account to Carmel's father, who gave his son's phone number to an undercover agent.

Carmel was arrested May 30 in Chippewa County. He was due in federal court on Monday.

The U.S. attorney's office in New York didn't return a message inquiring about the status of that case.