RICHMOND, VA (WWBT/AP) - Prosecutors say a New York undercover officer bought 217 guns and assault rifles and dismantled a trafficking ring that operated out of Virginia.
Traffickers were heard on wiretaps brazenly bragging about their ability to buy guns for resale.
"In Virginia, our laws are so little, you know, I can give guns away," one trafficker is heard saying on the wiretap recording.
Acting District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said Wednesday that 24 people were arrested, mostly in Virginia. One suspect was from Brooklyn, and another from the District of Columbia.
"In this unique case, we charged more defendants and recovered more firearms than in any other case in Brooklyn's history," said Gonzalez. "We will go wherever we must, including other states, to continue fighting the scourge of firearms trafficking. We will not rest until every individual allegedly importing illegal guns into our borough – and with them death and violence – has seen their names on an indictment like this one."
They are charged in an indictment alleging a conspiracy to bring up to a dozen guns illegally into New York City at a time, sometimes traveling on the bus with the weapons. They used code words like "chopper" and "joint" to peddle the weapons. Ammunition was "food."
Gonzalez says many of the suspects are associated with Bloods gangs in Virginia and Brooklyn and "used proceeds from the gun sales to fund a lavish lifestyle, purchasing drugs, jewelry, clothing, and sneakers, in addition to sending money to jailed associates."
There are 627 counts in the indictment. Investigators say they recovered AK-47s, AR-15s, Thomson Industries (a.k.a. Tommy guns), Mossberg 715Ts, MAC-10s, a .45 caliber Desert Eagle 1911, Glocks with extended ammunition magazines and 50 round ammunition drums, and handguns of various calibers including .45 caliber, .40 caliber, .380 caliber, and 9mm.
Here's a list of those arrested:
- Dajon Yearty, 25, of Newport News, Virginia
- Dwayne Lamont Rawlings, 30, also known as "Ding Dong," of Hampton, Virginia
- Jacquan Spencer, 22, also known as "Madcat," of Hampton, Virginia
- Damian King, 27, also known as "Havoc," of Bristow, Virginia
- Levar Shelborne, 29, also known as "Wavy Boy," of Richmond, Virginia
- Antwan Walker, 21, also known as "Twan," of Highland Springs, Virginia
- Tevin Richardson, 25, also known as "Stay-lo," of Washington, D.C.
- Kenneth Threatts, 21, also known as "Trey," of North Chesterfield, Virginia
- Renardo Maye, 20, also known as "Nardo," of Richmond, Virginia
- Aaron Horowitz, 24, also known as "Gringo," of Richmond, Virginia
- Aaron Perry, 22, of Brooklyn, New York
- Cameron Fobbs, 20, also known as "Bam" or "Bambino," of Richmond, Virginia
- Clifford Perryman, 28, also known as "Nino," of Richmond, Virginia
- Neftali Ramirez, 25, also known as "Doe Flacko," of Woodbridge, Virginia
- Euneece Robinson, 28, of Richmond, Virginia
- Aaron Seabrook, 22, of Richmond, Virginia
- Corey Russell, 20, of Richmond, Virginia
- Naquan Trapp, 20, of Richmond, Virginia
- Chauncey Walker, 20, of Richmond, Virginia
- Walter Alston, 29, also known as "380," of Richmond, Virginia
- Malyk Hawthorne, 21, also known as "Wink," of Richmond, Virginia
- Michael Vordjorbe, 21, also known as "Stacks," of Richmond, Virginia
- Antoine Smyre, 28, also known as "Fats Pomc," of Richmond, Virginia
- Donald Houston, 27, also known as "Doozie," of Richmond, Virginia
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring made the following statement:
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