Former Blackwater Head Can Remain Free

A federal judge is allowing the former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four of his past colleagues at the North Carolina security firm to go free as they await trial on weapons charges.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Gates on Wednesday denied the government's request to set a bond for the suspects, including a proposed $250,000 bond for former Blackwater President Gary Jackson. Gates did order all five defendants to turn over their passports and refrain from possessing guns.

Prosecutors accuse Jackson on of flouting federal regulations with "arrogance." An attorney for Jackson says government officials previously knew of many of the activities discussed in the indictment, which was handed up last week.

The 52-year-old Jackson left the Moyock-based company now known as Xe last year in a management shake-up.

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