By MARCIA KRAMER
NEW YORK, New York (WCBS) — Four suspects have been charged with trafficking more than 50 guns in Brooklyn – some sold steps from churches and schools.
The feds say the suspects were part of a major gun trafficking ring in Brooklyn.
A NYCHA development in the Canarsi section of Brooklyn was quiet Wednesday, but according to prosecutors it was the favorite marketplace of a local gun trafficking gang that sold guns and drugs to undercover cops.
“The defendants sold the NYPD undercover officer over 50 guns,” said Brooklyn U.S. attorney Breon Peace.
Prosecutors said two of the defendants bought the guns in Virginia. They were then sold during daylight hours around the Canarsie complex, near schools and a church. Some of the guns had defaced serial numbers. Others were ghost guns.
“The defendants didn’t believe, of course, they were selling guns to a law enforcement officers. They thought they were selling guns to a drug dealer,” Peace said.
Officials said that several of the guns sold to undercover agents were used in previous crimes committed in Brooklyn.
“We’ve traced at least three of these guns from this case to previous shootings of the people of this city. We in the NYPD will never forget that the handgun used to assassinate Detectives Liu and Ramos in Brooklyn in 2014 was bought at a Georgia pawn shop before making its way here illegally,” Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell said.
Officials said one of the guns was used on August 16, 2021, when armed gunmen fired into a crowd of more than 100 people partying at a family day celebration at the Roosevelt houses in Bed-Stuy. Eight people were struck by gunfire.
Sewell stressed that even though this case involved only four men, it is an integral part of the city’s efforts to make the streets and subways safer.
“Every illegal gun seized, every shooting that does not occur, every homicide that never happens is another realization of the public safety focus of the NYPD,” Sewell said.
Although overall crime continues to be a problem in New York City, the NYPD gun arrests last year were at a 27-year high. More than 7,000 illegal guns were confiscated.
If convicted, the four suspects could face up to 15 years in jail.
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