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NYC brothers face 130 counts after ‘arsenal’ of ghost guns and homemade explosives found in their apartment, prosecutors say

By Michelle Watson and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

(CNN) — A pair of brothers in New York City has been charged with 130 counts related to the illegal possession, handling and sale of weapons after an “arsenal” of ghost guns, assault rifles and improvised explosive devices were discovered in a raid of their Queens apartment, prosecutors said.

The brothers, Angelo and Andrew Hatziagelis, have been under investigation by the Queens District Attorney’s Office for suspected purchases of firearm components and accessories and the manufacturing of illegal ghost guns – a type of untraceable, homemade firearm, the prosecutor’s office announced in a Monday news release.

During a January 17 search of their apartment, authorities found instructions on how to make bombs, anarchist propaganda and a “hit list” scrawled with “cops, judges, politicians, celebrities” and “banker scum,” the district attorney’s office said.

Angelo, 51, and Andrew, 39, Hatziagelis share the Astoria apartment with their mother and another brother, prosecutors said.

The search of the apartment revealed eight “fully operable” improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, two loaded AR-15-style ghost guns, more than 600 rounds of ammunition and three sets of body armor, among other things, according to the district attorney’s office.

The apartment building, which sits across from a power plant, was evacuated by the New York City Police Department’s bomb squad after the IEDs were found, the release said. US Homeland Security and state police also assisted in the search.

“This cache of weapons – including explosives and untraceable, 3D-printed ghost guns – had the potential to wreak horrendous carnage,” city police commissioner Edward Caban said in a statement.

New York City officials are among the local, state and federal authorities that have been cracking down on the proliferation of ghost guns, which have no serial numbers and can be extremely difficult to track and regulate. Queens has had the most ghost gun recoveries of all New York City boroughs since 2021, discovering more than 30% of the 359 such guns recovered in the city last year, according to Katz’s office.

“The city is safer today,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “My Crime Strategies and Intelligence Bureau launches investigations every day so that we find illegal weapons, including guns and in this case explosive devices. We cannot measure the number of lives that were saved, but we do know that these weapons will never hurt anyone.”

Among the charges against the brothers are criminal possession of a weapon or firearm, reckless endangerment, criminal sale of a firearm and unlawfully handling dangerous fireworks, according to the indictment.

Angelo Hatziagelis has pleaded not guilty to the charges, according to a court docket. CNN has reached out to an attorney for his brother.

The brothers are awaiting arraignment in the 130-count indictment and are next scheduled to appear in court on February 15, according to Katz’s office.

If convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

CNN’s Josh Campbell contributed to this report.

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