The biggest gun bust in Brooklyn’s history took place on Wednesday as a result of efforts by the New York police and Brooklyn District Attorney’s office. A total of 24 individuals were arrested as part of a gun trafficking ring that moved guns from Virginia to New York. A 627-count indictment has been handed down in connection with a ring that allegedly moved guns from that state to New York over a nine month period. The indictment includes multiple counts of criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of a weapon, and conspiracy. Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, “In this unique case, we charged more defendants and recovered more firearms than in any other case in Brooklyn’s history.”
Officials say that Damian King, aka Havoc; Jacquan Spencer, aka Madcat; and Levar Shelborne, aka Wavy Boy have been identified as the leaders of the conspiracy. Gonzalez said that many of those charged are members of the Bloods street gang family based in Virginia and Brooklyn.
According to officials, between June 2016 and February 2017, the defendants operated in two different arms. First gathering firearms with the aid of straw buyers in the Henrico and Richmond County area of Virginia, and also doing the same in the Hampton and Newport News area. The profits from the sales went to purchase drugs, jewelry, gym shoes, and for commissary for imprisoned comrades.
The ring employed runners to deliver about a dozen guns at a time by car and bus to Brooklyn. The runners would meet with an undercover buyer who paid between $800-$1200 for a handgun and as much as $2,200 for guns considered “assault weapons” under New York law. The sting recovered AR-15s and AK-47s, Glocks, Desert Eagle style pistols, Mossberg 715 22LR rimfire rifles, a Chinese Norinco SKS, a TEC-9 pistol, and even single-action revolvers.
“The illegal firearms sold during this investigation amount to a sizable arsenal,” New York City Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill said.
Most of the defendants involved in the case were apprehended in Virginia with the help of federal agents and members of the Henrico and Richmond Police Departments. They will be extradited to Brooklyn for trial.