GIs Accused of Smuggling Guns From Iraq

Two soldiers and another man were indicted Tuesday for allegedly smuggling machine guns out of Iraq and trying to sell them in the United States.

Army Sgt. Nigel Brown (search), 31; Sgt. Beau Uran (search), 24 and Guy Brown (search), 46, were indicted on federal charges of conspiring to unlawfully import machine guns and aiding and abetting the possession of a machine gun, the U.S. attorney's office said.

If convicted, they could face up to 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and supervised release for up to three years. The men are scheduled to be arraigned in May.

Nigel Brown and Uran were deployed to Iraq from Fort Campbell (search) in 2003. While there, they acquired 17 Russian-made AK-47s and a Chinese assault rifle, prosecutors said.

The men allegedly placed the guns inside oxygen tanks after sawing the bottoms off and had them shipped back to Fort Campbell in a container.

They retrieved the tanks when they returned from Iraq, the indictment alleges.

Prosecutors said Nigel Brown then asked Guy Brown, a relative, to sell the guns. In May 2004, Guy Brown allegedly sold the guns to an undercover federal agent for $18,000.

Nigel Brown declined to comment when reached by telephone late Tuesday. A relative answering the phone at a listed number for Guy Brown said he was not available. There was no phone listing for Beau Uran in Clarksville.

Lt. Col. Ed Loomis, a Fort Campbell spokesman, said Nigel Brown and Uran were still with their units. He referred questions about the investigation to the U.S. attorney.