Blackwater Faces Hefty Fine for Iraq Gun Violations

Contractor shipped firearms without permit; some may now be on black market
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 13, 2008 4:08 PM CST

(Newser) – The government will hit security firm Blackwater USA with a multimillion-dollar fine for shipping hundreds of unauthorized guns to Iraq, McClatchy reports. A lengthy State Department investigation has concluded that the security contractor shipped some 900 weapons to the country—some of which likely wound up on the black market—without necessary permits, sources say.

The North Carolina-based outfit said it has “not been informed of an intent to impose a fine, however … we have been cooperating with the government to respond to inquiries into our export processes,” a spokeswoman says. Two former Blackwater employees have already pleaded guilty to weapons charges and are cooperating with the feds, the Raleigh News & Observer notes.