Vietnam War Hero Gets 7 Years in Prison for Purchasing an M14 Over 40 Years Ago

Pick’s military service didn’t dissuade the judge from handing down a harsh sentence. (Photo: Alfred Pick’s Facebook)

A Vietnam veteran and Silver Star recipient has been sentenced by a federal judge to 87 months in prison for illegally purchasing a fully automatic M14 rifle at a Fort Worth gun show in the early 1980’s.

Alfred Pick, 70, lives in Plano, TX., and purchased the rifle because it was similar to the one he carried in combat. Pick conducted more than 100 combat missions and spent time in a POW camp before being awarded the U.S. military’s third-highest honor for valor in combat.

“This gun was very rare at that time it was rare to see one so he instantly had a connection to it,” Pick’s attorney, Ryne Sandel, told CBS station KTVT. “Over the course of his life he and his wife and collected about 14 weapons, many of them were collector’s items.”

“He was a gun collector and it was probably the piece de resistance of his collection… he had shown it to me. I’ve never seen it taken it out of the case,” Pick’s friend, Mark Shackelford, added to KTVT. “He’s had it all these years never robbed a bank or done anything with it. Somebody that made one mistake and now 50 years later, he’s paying a really big price for it.”

SEE ALSO: Vietnam Veteran Who Was Shot by Police While Defending his Grandson Given a Hero’s Burial

But U.S. Attorneys brought Pick to court on more than just owning an automatic rifle with a scratched-out serial number. According to KTVT, police had been called on several occasions when Pick physically and verbally abused medical staff and patrons at hospitals and restaurants in recent years. In one altercation, he brandished a handgun in a restaurant parking lot.

His daughter also accused him of sexually abusing her from when she was four years old until the age of 17. She said her father took nude photos of her to “chart her growth” and sexually assaulted her.

“Obviously, there was a lot more to the sentence that was received – a sentence that Mr. Pick and his lawyer agreed to – than a single gun with a missing serial number,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown.  “Although Mr. Pick was a decorated veteran, he would use that status routinely to try to excuse his repeated criminal behavior. This was also not a mental health issue. It became a public safety issue.”

SEE ALSO: Iraq combat Veteran Convicted of NY SAFE Act Violation, Avoids Jail Time

Pick pled guilty to the weapons charge, but his attorney argued that his military service and the length of time since he purchased the firearm warranted a lighter sentence.

“He’s a really remarkable man to be honest,” said Sandel. “I do think it’s unfortunate for a gentleman like Alfred that’s had such an outstanding life to have it mired at the age of 70 by this federal felony.”

“The man is a Silver Star winner, he saved lives, he took care of his wife, he’s been in custody for a year, I would think that when a man turned 70 and is an American hero you don’t destroy the rest of his life for one mistake,” Shackelford added.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 39 comments… add one }
  • PC August 21, 2020, 10:16 am

    Wonder what happened to the person who sold him the M14.

  • Dustin Eward May 22, 2020, 9:40 pm

    Whamens made accusations. No convictions. No evidence. The article continues to refer to these as ongoing criminal behavior… A girl said so. Guilty.

  • Dannie A Colegate May 22, 2020, 11:14 am

    Putting him in prison at that age. That’s going to cost a lot of tax money.

  • Nick S March 6, 2020, 7:19 am

    So this guy should be let off, is this what you’re suggesting? I think he got off easy for his behavior

  • David Pierce July 5, 2019, 9:52 am

    Right on point.

  • David Pierce July 5, 2019, 9:41 am

    Well said!

  • Jay December 9, 2018, 1:03 am

    (quote)His daughter also accused him of sexually abusing her from when she was four years old until the age of 17. She said her father took nude photos of her to “chart her growth” and sexually assaulted her.(end quote)
    Never mind the old weapons charge (though he deserves time for that too), sexually assaulting HIS child, ANY child for that matter, is more than enough to give him life in my book!

    I don’t know why they posted that article here. If they thought we would give him a pass because of the gun issue or his being a vet, they don’t know gun owners or their audience very well!

  • Michael November 3, 2018, 4:42 am

    Being a decorated war veteran is no excuse for being a scumbag.

  • srsquidizen October 27, 2018, 7:41 am

    If one is already 70 years old a 7-year no-parole federal sentence could end up being life. If this guy took it in a plea deal there must be bleeploads of evidence that he has done worse things than having a war relic laying around that doesn’t comply with NFA. Else he had the most incompetent lawyer on the planet and the sentence will be reduced or tossed out on appeal.

    Plea deals are necessary to keep the criminal courts from becoming backlogged for decades or else just letting most criminals go scot free. Another thing that’s bad about plea deals, besides letting a lot of bad guys get less time than they deserve, is that the public often never gets to know about all the evidence.

    • Scotty Gunn October 27, 2018, 9:39 pm

      War relic? It’s not just an unregistered full auto, it is a stolen unregistered full auto. Read the “scratched off serial number” line. Probably stolen federal property. That is even more serious. Why didn’t he just buy a semi auto and be done with it. It is close enough for the memories and historical value.

  • Glenn61 October 27, 2018, 4:55 am

    well,, duh… if you buy an illegal fully auto rifle without the legal paper work… then this is what can happen.

  • John Hoglin October 26, 2018, 11:06 pm

    Haveing served in the military does not give your Saint status for the rest of your life. There are plenty of Veterans who became criminals later in life. Is there not statute of limitations on this? I would think 40 years is plenty long.

  • LJ October 26, 2018, 3:32 pm

    Quote; “Obviously, there was a lot more to the sentence that was received – a sentence that Mr. Pick and his lawyer agreed to – than a single gun with a missing serial number,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “Although Mr. Pick was a decorated veteran, he would use that status routinely to try to excuse his repeated criminal behavior. This was also not a mental health issue. It became a public safety issue.”

    And this; ‘His daughter also accused him of sexually abusing her from when she was four years old until the age of 17. She said her father took nude photos of her to “chart her growth” and sexually assaulted her.’

    I’m suppose to take pity on a pedophile who sexually molested his own daughter and was stupid enough to have in his possession a fully automatic M14 with a scratched off serial number?! Just because he was a Sliver Star recipient and served his country valiantly?!

    Was his related to Will Hayden? Maybe they should lock them up together. Maybe share notes … play with the soap-on-a-rope together …

  • Markie October 26, 2018, 10:40 am

    Or maybe
    “In exchange for Pick’s guilty plea to the charge for which he was convicted, two other charges were dismissed: possession of an unregistered firearm and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.“
    And
    “Pick had admitted to others that he had stolen the illegal weapon while in the military.”
    Also
    “Prosecutors also informed the court that Pick had been repeatedly cited for criminal trespass at area hospitals for his aggressive behavior and that police had twice been called in 2014 to defuse situations in which Pick had brandished handguns and threatened others.”

    • Capn Stefano October 26, 2018, 11:56 am

      All unproven allegations and hearsay that had NOTHING to do with this case. Innocent until proven guilty, yet you have convicted him in your MIND. This man was convicted under a 100% unconstitutional, tyrannical “law” enforced by an unconstitutional agency that shouldn’t even exist, and a corrupt court system that provides false legitimacy. I look forward to the day when this entire system burns to the ground, and something better replaces it. In fact I hope to be able to take part as my ancestors did in 1775

    • alex October 26, 2018, 11:49 pm

      sounds like pick was a prick.

  • Bill H. October 26, 2018, 10:28 am

    This story on Guns America Digest is exactly what is wrong with the fricking internet. Somewhere along the way, someone took a real story and changed it so much it became fake news. It fits the pro-gun agenda and makes the guy who committed multiple crimes look like a poor misaligned victim. He isn’t, not by any stretch of the imagination. Here is the rest of, and the REAL story on that clown:
    https://www.justice.gov/usao-edtx/pr/plano-man-sentenced-7-years-firearms-violation?fbclid=IwAR2n415eLW4NhDa4Wuakgm2w5tyhkEdPqshm1N9u632NxrYPEWqqR-SM0Ag

    • Justista October 26, 2018, 11:48 am

      I didn’t get that out of it. I thought from the start he was a law breaker.
      At the very least he is smart enough to know better.
      Good guy or bad he knew there would be consequences if discovered.
      I appreciate his service but Son of Sam and Jeffery Dahmer both served too. It doesn’t get a guy a get out of jail free card.

  • davis October 26, 2018, 10:01 am

    Buying a NFA weapon in Texas is legal IF THE WEAPON IS TRANSFERABLE. Only a tax and a lengthy wait for a FBI check. There is much more hidden in his case…We have only read a few paragraphs.

  • AJ October 26, 2018, 9:38 am

    This article serves to show how all the facts are necessity when making judgement calls. They had me at the M14, but I’m glad I read the article before siding with a supposed child molester.

    The first fact is that the gun control acts are completely unconstitutional by their very nature. 2nd and 10th Amendments cover that. However, an M1A could have been just as easily acquired. Especially if the M14 was a hot piece. Obviously was with the serial number issue.

    Now, he may not have committed any gun crimes (morally and practically), we don’t know the whole story there. Old people sometimes have no fucks to give. But the other accusations need to be investigated in the proper way.

  • James Shumate October 26, 2018, 9:26 am

    I got so much more than I expected from this article. WOW! F*** the gun charges. If his daughters allegations are true they should fry this piece of ***t regardless of his military record.

  • 4starrguy October 26, 2018, 8:45 am

    I spite of his silver star Mr Pick appears to be a dispicable fellow. His crimes of the past ( sexual abuse- buying a fully automatic weapon disgusting and stupid ), may not be punishable at this late date,, buying an operating, full auto weapon, was against the law He knew that, stupid The real criminal is the seller!! Sexual abuse against a child should be brought by her in a court of law, and he should be held accountable but she must come forward, however his apparent deteriorating mental condition, apperent uncontrollable anger, should be a red flag. So he is a criminal and prone to violence he should no be allowed to own any firearms period we have good gun laws in this country enforce them Confiscate all his fire arms but no jail time for having bought that M14 years ago. However! His daughter should step forward with solid proof, not some vague memory, solid proof and if proven guilty send this child molester to jail.

  • ArturS October 26, 2018, 8:34 am

    This is very similar to the fact that his daughter wants his money. Proof of violence are children’s photos. Photo of what? Beach photos? Who did not take photos of their children on the beach? She took the old rifle, scratched the room, took the old photos and took it to the police to get rid of the veteran’s father?

    • Scotty Gunn October 27, 2018, 9:46 pm

      Did she plant the cocaine and pot at the home,too? Find the link to the actual article in the comments here and read it. Dude was wacked.

  • Cyrus October 26, 2018, 7:32 am

    If it is reported on this site then everything Must be True!

  • Mike October 26, 2018, 7:13 am

    So shit, diddling his own daughter, throw him in a hole and never let him out.

  • Ghost October 26, 2018, 6:53 am

    ATF works for the Communist DNC machine, & like the FBI many are anti-Constitutionalists. They have been brainwashed during Dictator Obozo years to find anything on law abiding gun owners. Then bring them in front of a Liberal Judge for incarceration.
    Like the early Nazi’s, they are promised a future prominent position’s. A Sieg Heil salute to another Federal
    Dept.

  • Patrick Champa October 26, 2018, 6:18 am

    He may have done great things for our country in his youth, but doesn’t give him a get out of jail free ticket for being a shitty person for the 50 years after. Stolen military automatic firearms, sexually assault of his daughter! There’s probably much more. Don’t be surprised if he smuggled drugs over the border in that plane. He seems like the kind of guy.

  • LocoMike October 26, 2018, 6:04 am

    So, screw the constitution because he is accused of a crime against children? I agree, child abusers are subhuman but was he tried and convicted of it? You see, one reason we flourish as a society is we all must be judged and sentenced by a court of law. If he did the terrible deed, try and convict him of it.

    The NFA is unconstitutional. The days of prosecutors sliding through cracks in the law to try and convict for crimes they otherwise can’t get a conviction will be a judged by history to be dangerous to the laws we live by as a society.

    Seeing people ‘jump’ to guilt by accusation is disheartening. “He’s a child molester”, lock him up for an NFA violation is NOT sustainable in our system of justice. I am curious. What other accusations merit such action. Surely murder would. And then…………..

    • Brandon October 26, 2018, 7:14 am

      Except he plead guilty in a plea deal, knowing what the sentence would be, and knowing the sentence was within legal parameters for the crime he plead guilty to.

    • michael October 26, 2018, 8:15 am

      Indict him for child molestation and whatever other crimes he committed. Don’t violate his (and our) constitutional rights.

    • Brent Baird January 31, 2019, 8:42 am

      Finally , a sane , reasonable mind , capable of critical thinking. Thank you Locomike.

  • L.C. O'Brien October 26, 2018, 4:11 am

    Disgusting.

  • L.C. O'Brien October 26, 2018, 4:10 am

    Disgusting piece of crap if being a child molester is true. What would make a combat awarded veteran destroy his own daughter’s life. Hang his evil ass.

  • Dave October 26, 2018, 3:18 am

    “…..had such an outstanding life.” With his history, I don’t think so.

  • dr john lallemano October 24, 2018, 2:51 pm

    fake news—didn’t happen

  • Bobs your uncle October 24, 2018, 9:45 am

    Yikes! what a jerk! stolen Gov. property aside, its a good thing he didn’t have a bumpstock, he would have gotten ten years for that.

  • Nick October 23, 2018, 9:31 pm

    Getting really tired of Guns America’s click bait articles. Guy has numerous investigations and charges against him, leading law enforcement to find a machine gun with altered serial numbers during the course of their investigation. If he is a child molester, assulter of healthcare workers, and a menace to society, then it doesn’t matter what his military service was. Period.

    • Gary October 24, 2018, 4:26 pm

      Agreed. If he did those things to his daughter he needs to put down not jailed. Child molestation is the THE WORST of all crimes.

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