Authorities Bust Alleged Gun-Trafficking Ring for Second Time This Month
For the second time this month, police and prosecutors say they've busted a major gun-trafficking ring. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
Another alarming assortment of guns on display: 89 weapons and ammunition allegedly sold by seven men to undercover NYPD police officers in the last year, some not far from where Officer Randolph Holder was shot dead last week.
"Each of the buys took place in residential neighborhoods in broad daylight, and two of the final sales taking place on East 102nd Street, near the site of violence which culminated in the death of police officer Randolph Holder," said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.
The NYPD says the undercover police officers paid more $50,000 for the guns during the year-long operation in Harlem, East Harlem and the Bronx.
Police Commissioner William Bratton said it was not immediately clear where these weapons originated, but typically, guns are bought legally in the south, where laws are lax, and then smuggled into New York. He blasted national lawmakers and the National Rifle Association for doing little to stop the gun running.
"I have no faith in the Congress of the United States on this issue at all," Bratton said. "They have been beholden to the NRA for most of my career of policing. I don't see any movement away from that stranglehold that the NRA has."
Bratton said he was thinking about having to attend the funeral of Officer Holder, killed with a gun sold in South Carolina seven years ago.
"It still amazes me at the insanity of the United States Congress that they just don't get it, and I don't know why they don't get it other than that they basically constantly down there with their hands out to the NRA looking for more and more money," he said.
The NRA responded, "Politicians are only beholden to their constituents and the majority of those constituents favor gun rights over gun control."
This bust followed the arrest two weeks ago of eight people in a smuggling ring that allegedly brought into the city 112 guns purchased in Atlanta and Pittsburgh.
"We have to call for the change to protect our people, protect our communities, protect out police offices alike," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.
The NYPD says gun arrests are up about 7 percent this year.