PA Soldier caught smuggling AK-47 back from Iraq gets sentenced

Army National Guard soldier James Bindeman, 42, was sentenced to two years probation last Tuesday after pleading guilty to gun smuggling charges associated with his tour of duty in Iraq.  Entering a guilty plea before a federal judge in Erie, Pennsylvania last June, the court mandated Bindeman must also forfeit all 11 guns including the offending, fully automatic AK-47 that he lied to Army officials about transporting into the states.

To get the guns into the US, Bindeman fabricated a “false bottom” to his footlocker.  When questioned about this he told Security officials it contained his power tools and golf clubs. The guns were stumbled upon, when the crate was routinely unpacked at “March at a Guard” readiness center in Cambridge Springs, PA.

The soldier’s attorney argued that Bindeman planned to disable the guns and donate them to a veterans’ organization for display.