RALEIGH, N.C.-- The federal prosecution of five former employees of the private security firm Blackwater has crumbled after the defendants said they were acting at the behest of the CIA in giving an assault rifle, a shotgun and three pistols to King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Federal prosecutors indicted former Blackwater president Gary Jackson and four others on a long list of felony firearms violations in 2010.
Charges against three of the defendants were dropped Thursday. Jackson and former Blackwater vice president William Matthews pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges related to record keeping violations, resulting in $5,000 fines and no jail time.
The government's case unraveled after defense lawyers produced two retired CIA officials who said they knew about the weapons presented to Abdullah during a 2005 visit to Blackwater's compound.