Largest Illegal Gun Seizure NYC History: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly

Today at 11:30 a.m., Mayor Bloomberg and NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly announced the largest seizure of illegal guns in the New York Police Department’s 168 years. Police are convinced this bust will reduce the amount of gun violence in the city. This year there have been 77 incidents of gun violence in New York City.

Here is what you need to know about the giant NYPD operation operation:

1. Hundreds of Guns Were Recovered

Officials say 254 weapons were recovered, including high-capacity assault rifles and a fully automatic machine gun. Some were attained legally in North and South Carolina, and others were stolen and then resold on the black market.

2. 19 Arrests Were Made

A New York City prosecutor filed a 552-count indictment on the 19 defendants including Walter Walker and Earl Campbell. The two men, from North and South Carolina, went through a New York City, Brooklyn-based broker named Omole Adedji.

An undercover officer was crucial in making the arrests, as well as a wire tap and coordination with police officers in Sanford, North Carolina and Rock Hill, South Carolina. At the center of this gun smuggling operation was a music recording studio in Brooklyn. One of the main suspects, according to Ray Kelly, often posted pictures of guns and money on his Instagram.

The guns were accumulated out of state and then sold to an undercover NYPD agent who posed as a black market gun dealer in New York City.

The undercover officer was able to make relationships with the illegal gun sellers on the Chinatown bus from Charlotte, NC to New York City. The NYPD’s undercover officer bought a number of weapons while authorities built a case.

3. Many of NYC’s Illegal Guns Come From North and South Carolina

gun advocates

Mayor Bloomberg, an outspoken advocate for gun control, used this event rail against North and South Carolina’s lax laws. These laws, he said, pose a danger to people in New York City because they allow gun traffickers to bring guns from the Carolina’s where they can be easy attained.

At least 39 of the weapons turned up by the bust were legally purchased weapons that were reported stolen in North Carolina.

4. Bloomberg Used the Case as Evidence That Stop & Frisk is Essential

Today Mayor Bloomberg announced that a wire-tapped conversation between suspects turned up a fear of selling guns in Brooklyn because of the NYPD’s stop and frisk program.

The announcement of the gun bust came just one week after the NYPD hit a major setback when a Federal judge declared their controversial Stop and Frisk policy unconstitutional. Today’s announcement will certainly buttress Bloomberg’s belief that his invasive police tactics have contributed immensely to the falling crime rates in New York City.

5. The Last Big Gun Heist Was Over 100 Guns in 2012

gun bust

In October 2012, Mayor Bloomberg announced that the NYPD had uncovered a major gun trafficking operation in East Harlem. The bust, known as “Operation Micky Mouse Trap,” turned up over 100 weapons including assault rifles, shot guns, and hand guns of all sizes.