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Ex-Navy Clerk Pleads Guilty in Gun Case

  Court Watch  -   POSTED: 2007/09/19 11:15

A former Navy supply officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to illegally possessing 60 unregistered machine guns that were found at his rural home. David Carmel told U.S. District Judge John C. Shabaz he is being treated for a mental illness, but is in control of his "faculties." Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Przybylinski Finn said prosecutors still aren't sure where Carmel got the machine guns.

Carmel faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced Nov. 27, although the prosecutor said he could get a lighter sentence in exchange for his guilty plea under federal sentencing guidelines.

Carmel, 32, of Gilman, also is charged in federal court in New York state with trying to sell rifle sights he allegedly stole from the military. That complaint says that when he served as a supply officer on the minesweeper USS Shrike, he obtained hundreds of laser sights, machine gun parts and night vision goggles although the vessel didn't require the equipment.

Carmel, a lieutenant, was relieved of his supply duties for misappropriating government property and misusing his authority. He left the Navy in 2005.

The complaint in Wisconsin said Carmel became the target of an investigation into theft and sale of stolen military supplies, including weapons.

Federal investigators discovered a cache of weapons on the 40 acres Carmel shares with his parents in Chippewa County, including machine guns, a rocket launcher, artillery shells and dozens of grenades.

Carmel's attorney, Chris Kelly, said nothing in court besides agreeing with the judge. He didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

No hearings have been scheduled on the charges in New York.


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