Fla. Arms Dealer Seeks New Trial in Fraud Case

MIAMI (AP) — A youthful Miami Beach arms dealer whose company once boasted a $300 million Pentagon contract wants a new trial on grounds that he wasn’t competent to plead guilty.

An attorney for 26-year-old Efraim Diveroli filed papers Friday asking a federal judge to set aside his guilty plea and four-year prison sentence.

Diveroli pleaded guilty in 2009 to a fraud conspiracy charge for trying to ship millions of rounds of prohibited Chinese-made ammunition to Afghan forces fighting alongside U.S. troops. But Diveroli’s attorney says he was suffering from numerous mental health problems such as bipolar disorder and wasn’t competent to sign the plea agreement.

There was no immediate ruling from the judge.

Diveroli got another two years in prison after pleading guilty in a related Orlando weapons case.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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