Authorities are charging six out-of-state individuals for their connection to a gun trafficking ring that is responsible for bringing a slew of illegal firearms — including assault weapons and ammunition — to the streets of New York City.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. and NYPD Commissioner William Bratton announced Monday afternoon that New Jersey resident Abdul Davis, 52, is being indicted for selling 82 firearms and ammunition to an undercover police detective.
Davis’ girlfriend, Sheltie Funderberk, 50, was also indicted for her alleged role in the sales of the firearms, along with four Virginia and Georgia residents — Trenton Pointer, 45; Daemon Jenkins, 49; Malik Rainey, 44; and Milton Tillery, 36 — who allegedly supplied the guns for the illegal sales.
The six individuals were all charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with conspiracy in the fourth degree and various counts of criminal sale of a firearm in the first, second and third degrees.
“Illegal firearms like these fuel the very violence in our streets we seek to combat,” Bratton said.
According to prosecutors, between March 16, 2015, and April 19, 2016, Davis sold a total of 82 firearms — including 67 pistols, eight revolvers, five assault weapons, two shotguns and corresponding ammunition — to an NYPD detective posing as a Manhattan-based firearms dealer.
The sales of the firearms took place over 26 separate transactions — all in Washington Heights near West 166th Street and Saint Nicholas Avenue — and all were done in or around the detective’s car, authorities said.
In once case, Davis allegedly sold the undercover detective a Bushmaster Firearms semi-automatic assault rifle with a hundred-round drum magazine and accompanying ammunition. The average price per firearm was about $1,150.
During a number of the sales, Funderberk, Davis’ girlfriend, was present and allegedly drove Davis to at least two of the transactions, prosecutors said. An investigation showed that she also allowed Davis to use money from her bank account to allegedly buy the firearms and she would also allegedly wire money to Davis for the same reason.
According to authorities, Davis allegedly bought the firearms from Virginia residents Jenkins, Tillery and Pointer and Georgia resident Rainey. In most cases, Davis allegedly negotiated sales over the phone or via text messages, then would wire money to the dealers’ accounts and would travel to their homes to pick up the weapons. Even on some cases, the firearm dealers would agree to get payment after Davis successfully got back to Manhattan and sold the weapons to the detective.
“This alleged interstate trafficking conspiracy clearly illustrates how deadly firearms from ‘Iron Pipeline’ states flood New York City’s streets,” Vance said. “To stem the flow of illegal guns, we must deter traffickers from this lucrative business by prosecuting not only Manhattan-based illegal weapons dealers, but residents of Southern states who knowingly provide them with guns to be resold in our city.”
Vance added that along with announcing the indictment he is also asking the New York State Legislature to create a new A-1 felony of operating as a major firearms trafficker which would apply to anyone illegally selling or possession 20 or more firearms.
“Modeled after New York’s existing — and proven — Drug Kingpin statute, our proposed Gun Kingpin statute is necessary to put wholesale, illegal weapons dealers out of business,” he said.
DA Vance: "These guns weren't brought up here for show. They were brought up here to be shot." pic.twitter.com/rFhYweJ5up— Cyrus Vance, Jr. (@ManhattanDA) April 25, 2016