Ghost guns indictment: Washington Heights man allegedly built weapons, threatened to kill former girlfriend, DA Bragg says

Seized ghost guns
The NYPD uncovered ghost gun parts and 3D printers at a Washington Heights man’s residence.
Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

A Washington Heights man who allegedly built and kept ghost guns in his apartment and made violent threats to kill his ex-girlfriend was indicted on Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced. 

Eleazer Edelstein, 21, is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with five counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, five counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. Edelstein is also charged with one count of unlawful possession of ammunition.

Edelstein also allegedly threatened to kill a former girlfriend and displayed one of the ghost guns he made during a FaceTime call with her, according to the DA. For that, Edelstein is also charged with one count of menacing in the second degree and one count of aggravated harassment in the second degree.

“This defendant is alleged to have made threats using weapons he easily assembled in his own apartment,” Bragg said in a statement. “These facts, as alleged, once against demonstrate just how simple and cheap it is for someone to create their own deadly firearms, and the rapid pace of technological advancement is only going to make this process simpler.”

From January 2021 to December 2023, Edelstein allegedly purchased at least 16 items to construct, assemble, and print ghost guns, including two 3D printers and multiple spools of filament, according to the DA.

It is alleged that Edelstein then used those items to build three operable ghost gun pistols, two lower receivers, an upper receiver for an AR-15-style rifle, and an operable assault weapon-style rifle. Edelstein also possessed four high-capacity magazines and more than 200 rounds of ammunition. 

Edelstein had then allegedly sent text messages in late May to a former girlfriend threatening to kill her. He also called her over FaceTime and displayed one of the weapons he had printed.

Upon executing a search warrant, the NYPD reportedly discovered digital blueprints files at Edelstein’s residence that contained specific codes for 3D printing firearms and other parts, such as magazines. NYPD arrested Edelstein that day on June 2.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office partnered with the NYPD and other law enforcement partners to establish the Ghost Guns Initiative in 2020 to combat the proliferation of ghost guns in New York City.

The Ghost Guns Initiative has since led to prosecuted cases with the seizure of more than 93 ghost gun parts, 46 fully assembled ghost guns, 24 serialized firearms, 427 high-capacity magazines, 47 silencers, and other gear including scopes and rapid-fire modification devices, according to the DA’s office.

Bragg said in a statement that he supports legislation introduced on June 5 by New York Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal that will address the lack of state law prohibiting the manufacture of ghost guns or 3D guns. Senate Bill 7364/Assembly Bill 7489 would make the manufacture of 3D guns and gun parts illegal, making this a class D felony. 

“We must pass our legislation to close the 3D gun manufacturing loophole and stop the spread of digital files to proactively address the continued proliferation of these guns,” Bragg said.