A Brooklyn-based gun trafficking leader has pleaded guilty to her role in an operation that funneled firearms from Florida to New York City — often beneath Chinatown buses, officials said.
Natasha Harris pleaded guilty to 17 counts including several counts of criminal sale of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon, according to the state attorney general's office.
The November 2015 bust yielded more than 70 illegal guns —from .22 caliber pistols to a Tec 9 — bought at gun shows in Florida, many of which were then resold in New York for up to four times their original price, officials said. As a result of the investigation, known as “Operation Midnight Run,” eight members of the trafficking ring were charged with numerous counts of conspiracy, criminal possession and criminal sale of firearms.
“Natasha Harris led a dangerous gun trafficking ring that used Chinatown buses as a method to bring guns into our communities and fuel the epidemic of gun violence,” New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said. “Today’s guilty plea sends a clear message – if you bring deadly illegal weapons into our state, we will catch you and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”
Harris is expected to be sentenced to 15 years in prison.