Two dozen alleged gunrunners have been arrested with a massive haul of assault weapons and semiautomatic handguns in what the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and the NYPDare calling an unprecedented firearms trafficking bust.
More than 200 weapons recovered.
“In this unique case, we charged more defendants and recovered more firearms than in any other case in Brooklyn’s history,” Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Wednesday in announcing the arrests. “We will go wherever we must, including other states, to continue fighting the scourge of firearms trafficking.”
The two dozen gunrunning suspects, 22 of whom are residents of Virginia, have been charged with 627 counts of weapons offenses and conspiracy for trafficking guns intended for sale on Brooklyn streets, authorities said.
The weapons recovered during the course of the investigation include assault weapons such as AK-47s, AR-15s, Thomson Industries (a.k.a. Tommy guns), Mossberg 715Ts and MAC-10s. Assorted handguns were seized, including a .45 caliber Desert Eagle 1911 and Glocks with extended ammunition magazines and 50-round ammunition drums.
Gonzalez said that the defendants, many of whom are allegedly associated with Bloods gangs in Virginia and Brooklyn, funded “lavish lifestyles” complete with drugs, jewelry, clothing and sneakers. The defendants also sent money to associates in jail. In court-ordered wiretaps, the defendants can be heard mocking Virginia’s “weak gun laws,” the DA said.
NYPD Police Commissioner James O’Neill called Operation Tidal Wave an example of the nation’s “serious gun-control problem.”
“Over and over again, New York City finds itself the final destination for illegal firearms,” O’Neill continued. “Too often our citizens become victims of the associated gun violence. Our investigators and prosecutors will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for trafficking in illegal guns, wherever they are.”