Once-esteemed (by the government, at least) mercenary corporation Blackwater is in some hot legal water after the company’s former president and four other former employees were slapped with federal charges over the alleged stockpiling of automatic weapons.

The charges are only the latest problem in Blackwater’s short but troubled history. Now renamed Xe Services, Blackwater is trying to repair a reputation sullied by a series of allegations about its conduct in Iraq. –JCL

The Guardian:

The embattled security company Blackwater, which became known as the privatised face of warfare in Iraq, faces new legal difficulties after its former president and four other former employees were charged with federal weapons charges related to the alleged stockpiling of automatic rifles.

The charges come from a 2008 raid by the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on the firm’s sprawling ranch in North Carolina. Agents found 22 automatic weapons, including 17 AK-47s, on the property in potential violation of a law that bans private individuals or companies buying such weapons registered after 1986.

Among those facing charges are Gary Jackson, the company’s former president until last year; its former general counsel, Andrew Howell; and former vice president Bill Mathews.

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