Navy SEAL charged with selling ammunition
Petty Officer 2nd Class David Karl Becker told a few of his fellow Navy SEALs last year he had a surefire way for them to make some extra money, federal investigators said.
All they had to do was pocket some ammunition and maybe a smoke grenade or two during their field exercises, he said, according to court documents. Later, they would tell their supervisors they used it all.
From there, it was just a matter of taking the loot home, snapping some pictures, and posting ads online.
Easy money, as long as no one caught on.
Then the Navy found out.
Becker, 23, was arrested Wednesday and charged with four crimes in U.S. District Court, including theft and sale of government property, engaging in a firearms business without a license, possession of stolen explosive material, and possession of stolen ammunition. He is being held without bond at the Western Tidewater Regional Jail.
According to court documents, a confidential informant tipped the Naval Criminal Investigative Service last September to Becker's operation. Agents subsequently located a listing on gunbroker.com for an M18 yellow smoke grenade that appeared to be from a shipment sent to Naval Special Warfare Group 2, which is based at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.
In November, an undercover NCIS agent contacted the seller and was invited to see the grenades at his home in Norfolk, documents said. The agent purchased two grenades for $500.
When the agent asked whether he could get flashbang stun grenades and ammunition, Becker replied, "Everything is available," according to court documents.
During a subsequent visit, the agent bought 200 rounds of 5.56mm NATO armor-piercing ammunition in a drum designed to be attached to an automatic weapon and two Avon M50 gas masks, which Becker claimed were issued only to special operations personnel. The agent paid $1,025 for the ammunition and gas masks, documents said.
The agent looked at, but did not buy, at least 10 weapons Becker was trying to sell from his home. Becker told the agent some were from his personal collection and some had been acquired for resale and profit. Most had price tags.
While speaking with the agent, Becker explained that he started his business, D&C Outdoors LLC, because he had "a ton of guns" to sell.
"I've found that I can do a lot better if I have a layaway policy. I found that if you have a layaway policy, you get a lot more people," Becker said, according to court documents.
Becker also told the agent he had suppressors "in stock" and available for sale, documents said.
Records obtained from gunbroker.com indicate that Becker used the site to sell more than 50 weapons since Oct. 10, 2012, documents said.
According to Navy records, Becker enlisted on Aug. 13, 2009. He finished SEAL training in September 2012 and was assigned to the East Coast naval special warfare unit in October 2012.