Arms dealer arrested in FBI sting pleads guilty

AP News
Posted: Mar 29, 2011 5:35 PM
Arms dealer arrested in FBI sting pleads guilty

A Florida arms dealer has pleaded guilty to trying to bribe a foreign official to sell military equipment.

Jonathan Spiller, a British citizen and owner of two companies in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., was arrested last year with 21 other military suppliers in a sting operation.

Spiller admitted in federal court in Washington on Tuesday that he thought he was dealing with aides to the defense minister in the African country of Gabon. He agreed to pay a $3 million commission for a $15 million deal to provide rifle-mounted cameras and tactical vehicles to outfit the presidential guard.

The aides were actually undercover FBI agents. Gabon's defense minister was not involved.

Spiller is cooperating with investigators in hopes of reducing his possible sentence of up to five years in prison.