by Nora Bosworth
100 firearms were seized and sixteen gun traffickers indicted in what amounted to one of Manhattan’s biggest gun busts in the last five years, Mayor Bloomberg, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly announced on Friday. The confiscations came after two ongoing undercover police investigations in East Harlem. In both cases, undercover detectives purchased dozens of weapons from illegal sources.
The defendants charges include, but are not limited to, multiple counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First and Second Degrees, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, and Conspiracy. At least ten of the sold guns were reportedly bought in South Carolina, and smuggled up to New York.
“This investigation illustrates both the problem of illegal guns being purchased in other states and brought here illegally, and the skill and dedication of the NYPD officers who take the guns off the street often at great risk to themselves,” Bloomberg stated.
Thus far, two distinct trafficking rings are being charged, one headed by defendant Dario Wynerman, also known as “D,” 21, who allegedly sold a detective 34 guns. The other ring leader is thought to be Mitchel Collins, 64, an ex-con who goes by “Mickey”.
“It’s unusual to see individuals as old as Mickey Collins still engaged in criminal activity,” Police Commissioner Kelly announced.
Mickey’s network is charged with selling 73 firearms to the same undercover detective. The traffickers purportedly sold these weapons– revolvers and semiautomatic pistols– inside the lobby, stairwells, and hallways of an apartment building at 35 East 106th Street.
“There have been 127 shooting incidents this year in Manhattan, with 152 victims,” District Attorney Vance said. “Gun traffickers are bringing violence to our neighborhoods by selling illegal firearms – they are at the root of the problem of gun violence in this City.”
- Photo courtesy of Wiki Commons.
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