NYPD busts illegal gun trafficking ring, credits undercover ‘Detective X’

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly inspect an assault rifle that was sold to undercover officers.

The faint scent of metal filled the air as Police Commissioner Ray Kelly showed off 100 illegal guns seized by the NYPD in an undercover operation that busted members of two weapons trafficking rings.

Joined by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Kelly announced Friday 16 members of two trafficking networks were indicted on gun-related charges. Police arrested 13 of those suspects in the last day in East Harlem, while the others are still at large, Kelly said.

The defendants are accused of selling illegal weapons, likely brought into New York from pawn shops in South Carolina, and selling 129 of them to undercover cops. Those guns ranged from an AK-47 assault rifle sold for $1,600 to a 32-caliber revolver sold for $400.  

Kelly gave a special thanks to an officer he referred to only as “Detective X’ for his “dangerous, undercover” work in the investigation. Bloomberg commended the NYPD for helping to make New York City the safest big city in the nation.

“This investigation illustrates both the problem of illegal guns being purchased in other states and brought here illegally, and the skill and dedication of the NYPD officers who take the guns off the street, often at great risk to themselves,” Bloomberg said.

The bust is the result of two investigations. In an operation called “Mickey Mouse Trap,” undercover cops spent months trying to purchase illegal weapons from 64-year-old career criminal Mitchell “Mickey” Collins. Along with three other suspects, Collins sold undercover officers 88 guns, according to Kelly.

“Getting close to the wily Mickey Collins was no easy matter,” Kelly said. “It’s unusual to see individuals as old as Mickey Collins still engaged in criminal activity. Regrettably, it’s not unusual for young men to get involved in violent street crews.”

The other investigation, “Operation Carver,” targeted street crews who live in or near East Harlem’s Carver Houses. The suspects, all between 17 and 23 years old, belong to crews known as the East Rivery Army, Six-Net, Who-a-Day and the Total Money Gang. Kelly said undercover cops purchased 41 guns and a bulletproof vest from crew members. He issued a warning to other young men who are caught up in illegal gun sales.

“It’s difficult, demanding, dangerous work, but it has to be done,” Kelly said of the investigations. “So, our message is clear – don’t get involved. We are coming after you.”

Kelly added that two NYPD officers dodged gunshots from a suspect they were chasing in Brooklyn Thursday night. They returned fire on the man, shooting him several times. He is in critical condition, according to Kelly, who added that the suspect’s firearm was illegally purchased in 2006 in North Carolina.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…