Ten men were indicted on Tuesday for charges of gun smuggling and possession of 50 firearms, according to Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark’s and New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton’s office. The chache from “Operation Straight Outta Highbridge,” which began a year ago, took an AK-47-style assault rifle and semi-automatic pistols off the streets after undercover officers busted a network of alleged gun smugglers north of Yankee Stadium.
“These defendants allegedly sold 50 weapons, and some conspired to bring in 30 more guns to feed their greed at the expense of life and safety in the Bronx,” Clark said. “A week before Christmas, they allegedly delivered one of the firearms to the undercover detective gift-wrapped. These instruments of death were just ordinary merchandise to them.
“This case shows, once again, how guns purchased legally in other states can end up on our streets in the hands of criminals. It also highlights the courage and tenacity of our NYPD officers, and I want to thank the Firearms Investigation Unit and specifically the detectives who risked their lives each time they purchased a gun from these defendants.”
The guns were smuggled from Allentown, Pa.; Brunswick, N.Y.; Georgia and Houston, Texas.
The defendants are charged with first-degree criminal sale of a firearm, second-degree criminal sale of a firearm, third-degree criminal sale of a firearm, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and conspiracy. If convicted of the top charge, five of the defendants face up to 25 years in prison.
Seven of the defendants, including two Bronx residents, are due for arraignment on Aug. 4; three others are awaiting extradition.