The mayor and his righthand man, NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, have announced the details of the largest gun bust in the history of the city. Over 250 guns were seized, totaling nearly $160,000 in illegal merchandise entering the city from North and South Carolina.
The city has indicted 19 people on 552 total counts of conspiracy, criminal sale of a firearm, and criminal possession of a weapon.
Police ran a wiretapping and undercover operation from September 2012 to July 2013 stemming from what was initially a narcotics investigation. The gun-runners were ferrying weapons into the city from North and South Carolina.
The city’s statement on the arrests details a massive multistate conspiracy in which those arrested exploited the seams in the state-by-state patchwork of gun laws. Acting as straw purchasers in their home states, runners would ship the guns to New York City were they were flipped to the local black market using a local broker.
Over the course of the investigation, the accused were buying and selling guns ranging all the way from small pistols to assault weapons. Thirty-six of the seized guns had been reported stolen.