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Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes announced yesterday that they’re packing some major heat.
And, by heat, we mean the recovery of 154 illegal firearms seized in undercover police operations dating back to 2011.
The NYPD launched three different undercover gun-seizure operations in the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Flatbush, Crown Heights and Bushwick. In all, 11 people were indicted for their involvement in the gun-selling schemes.
“The dangers that illegal guns pose on our streets cannot be overstated,” Hynes said in a release from his office. “Sadly, we are all too familiar with instances where passersby and even children were injured and killed when criminals fired guns in our city. My office will continue to work with the Firearms Investigations Unit of the NYPD to vigorously investigate and prosecute all people involved in the illegal sale of firearms.”
The first investigation, dubbed “Operation V-8” — in which 24-year-old David “Juice” Augustine is accused of selling 51 guns to an undercover FIU detective. Over the course of 29 separate transactions, Augustine allegedly sold the officer pistols, shotguns, assault rifles, semi-automatics and a bullet-proof vest. And he allegedly transported the items up and down Flatbush Avenue in guitar cases, according to the release.
In “Operation Trini,” Kerwin “Trini” Gobin, 25, is accused of selling 87 guns to undercover FIU detectives from November 2011 to September 2012. Although Gobin’s alleged method of transportation isn’t quite as cool guitar cases, he is accused of selling some heavy artillery out of black plastic bags and duffle bags, the release says.
Among numerous pistols, revolvers and assault rifles, Gobin allegedly sold police a Sten machine gun capable of 550 rounds per minute. A super-soaker that fires 550 spurts of water in 60 seconds should be enough to make someone nervous, so imagine live ammunition spraying at that rate.
The third investigation netted police a total of 16 guns. Police accuse 34-year-old Henky Martinez of selling illicit semi-automatic pistols and handguns to undercover FIU’s in Bushwick from August 2011 to June 2012.
“In this case, some 150 [were] taken off the streets,” Kelly said in the release. “Police officers risk their lives doing this, and continue to do it despite the lack of national will to shut down the iron pipeline that floods New York with so many illegal guns.”
Many of the weapons have been traced back to a number of different states including South Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama and Maryland.
Authorities confirmed that at least six of the seized guns were used in New York City crimes — one in a homicide, three in shootings that caused non-fatal injuries and two where shots were fired but no one was hit.
Augustine, Gobin and Martinez each face up to 25 years in prison. The eight other individuals indicted in the bust, face anywhere from a few months to 15 years in prison.