154 firearms seized and 11 people indicted in undercover ops
A bonanza of 11 indictments and the seizure of 154 firearms from three undercover operations to purge illegal guns from the streets of Flatbush, Crown Heights and Bushwick was announced Thursday by law enforcement officials.
Six of the seized guns, collected in operations titled "V8," "Trini," and "Gates," had been used to commit crimes in New York City; one in a homicide and two in shootings.
Fourteen of the firearms had been reported stolen, including a service pistol from a Pennsylvania State Trooper that was taken during a home burglary. Another one was part of a burglary in which a total of 34 guns were stolen from a licensed gun dealer in South Carolina.
The weapons, many of which have been defaced or partially obliterated serial numbers, were tracked to 10 different states, prompting NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly to deplore "the lack of national will to shut down the iron pipeline that floods New York with so many illegal guns."
One of the 11 defendants, David "Juice" Augustine, 24, is accused of multiple counts involving the sale of 51 guns, and is being held on $750,000 bail. Augustine, who faces more than 25 years in prison if convicted, is alleged to have carried weapons in soft-shell guitar cases and sold guns near churches and areas frequented by school children. He is also accused of selling a bulletproof vest to an undercover detective.
"Sadly, we are all too familiar with instances where passersby and even children were injured and killed when criminals fired guns in our city," said Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes.