254 illegal guns have been seized as the result of a New York City Police Department (NYPD) investigation revealed on Monday morning. Nineteen members of two gun-trafficking groups in North and South Carolina have been arrested.
The top photo was tweeted by NYPD to show about half of the 254 seized guns.
NYPD filed a 552-count indictment on 208 guns sold for roughly $160,000 over the past year. The two gun-smuggling groups worked independently. But prosecutors allege that they both funneled the illegal guns through Brooklyn broker Omole Adedji.
An undercover detective met the accused gun sellers on more than 452 occasions. Most of the undercover gun buys involved multiple weapons.
Walter Walker of North Carolina and Earl Campbell of South Carolina had a similar technique for smuggling the guns into New York City. According to prosecutors, they would visit their home states, where guns were easy to buy from their contacts there.
Then they would come back on a bus with as many as 14 guns at a time in their luggage.
The gun-traffickers have already been arrested in a wave of arrests that began on August 2 in all three states. Three of the suspects were already jailed on unrelated charges.
Some of the other suspects tried to evade arrest. One man committed a robbery while on the run in North Carolina. He now faces the robbery charges in addition to the gun charges.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement: “[A]ll too frequently, senseless gun violence is facilitated by traffickers who bring in firearms from other states. Any effective public safety strategy must include targeting these traffickers…As a result of this investigation, more than 200 guns that could have been used to maim, harm, and kill New Yorkers will now be out of circulation.”
The 254 illegal guns seized included a variety of different weapons including five assault rifles and a machine gun.
[seized guns photo courtesy NYPD Twitter feed]