NEW YORK — Two former American soldiers — one nicknamed "Rambo" — and a German ex-soldier were charged Friday with plotting to kill a U.S. drug enforcement agent and an informant after a law enforcement sting interrupted their plans to use five ex-military snipers to protect illegal drug shipments, authorities said.

The charges were announced by prosecutors in Manhattan, where an indictment unsealed in federal court portrayed a trio of ex-soldiers eager to kill for money.

"That's fun, actually for me that's fun. I love this work," one was quoted as saying in court papers. The documents described numerous conversations at meetings outside the United States that were recorded by Drug Enforcement Administration agents building their case with help from confidential sources posing as drug traffickers.