Three men allegedly involved in a Queens-based gun-running gang were indicted on 182 counts of criminal sale and possession of firearms trafficked up the “iron pipeline” of I-95 from states where gun laws are lax, the Queens District Attorney announced yesterday.
District Attorney Melinda Katz said the three men were dealing in guns in New York City between September 2019 and July 2020, making several sales of the guns from southern states to undercover police officers. The weapons were mostly handguns, though one gun was a machine pistol capable of firing dozens of rounds at a time.
The alleged ring-leader in this case is Jessica “Cess Milla” Heyliger, 36, who allegedly operated this illegal enterprise with Mitchell “Mitch” Myree, 37, both of Jamaica, Queens. The two were arraigned on Nov. 12, in Queens Supreme Court. Sharod “Yahyo” King, 33, of Woodside, Queens, was arraigned on Thursday. All three defendants are variously charged with criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree and other crimes. King was apparently the main salesman on the streets of Queens. The three have been remanded to Rikers Island and are due back in court on Jan. 28, 2021.
“Getting guns off our streets is one of my top priorities,” said District Attorney Katz. “Accomplishing that means investigating and prosecuting those responsible for allegedly bringing deadly guns into our region. One of the firearms recovered by police was once banned and is the type of weapon that is meant to kill as many people in as short a period as possible. These kinds of firearms do not belong in our communities. Each weapon seized during this investigation is a potential life saved. We will continue to work with all our law enforcement partners to put gun runners out of business. I would like to acknowledge the great work of NYPD’s Firearm Suppression Section and my team for their tireless efforts.”
The investigation into the crew began in September 2019 when King allegedly sold an undercover police officer a handgun and two large-capacity ammunition feeding devices. In December 2019, the Court authorized electronic surveillance on King’s mobile phone.
The three were allegedly involved in the sale of 23 guns in 13 separate transactions. As part of the conspiracy, DA Katz said, King communicated directly with a buyer – who was really an undercover police officer – and delivered firearms, large-capacity magazines and ammunition to that “buyer.” Most of the illegal sales occurred in and near the Astoria neighborhood. Heyliger is accused of providing all the weapons and ammo to King.
The sales to the undercover officers included hundreds of rounds of ammunition and more than 10 high-capacity magazines. Through buys, the police recovered the following weapons: two .40 caliber Taurus pistols; a 9mm Smith and Wesson pistol; a .380 caliber Remington Arms pistol; a; 9mm Sig Sauer pistol; a pair of 9mm Taurus pistols; a 9mm Keltec pistol; a pair of .40 caliber Smith and Wesson pistols a pair of 9mm KAHR pistol; a pair of .357 caliber Taurus revolvers; a defaced 9mm Intratec Tec-9 firearm; a .22 caliber Phoenix Arms pistol; a .38 caliber Taurus revolver;a .32 caliber N. Amer. Arms pistol;a .40 caliber Bersa pistol; a 9mm Ruger pistol; a .380 caliber Ruger pistol; two pairs of 9mm SCCY pistols.
The investigation was conducted by the Firearms Suppression Section and the Gun Violence Suppression Division, along with the office of the Chief of Detectives.
Heyliger, 36, is charged in a 182-count indictment with criminal sale of a firearm in the first and third degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree, unlawful possession of pistol ammunition and conspiracy in the fourth degree. If convicted Heyliger faces up to 25 years in prison.
Mitchell Myree, 37, is charged in a 182-count indictment with criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree, criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree, unlawful possession of pistol ammunition and conspiracy in the fourth degree. If convicted Myree faces up to 15 years in prison.
Sharod King, 33, is charged in a 182-count indictment with criminal sale of a firearm in the first and third degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree, unlawful possession of pistol ammunition and conspiracy in the fourth degree. If convicted King faces up to 25 years in prison.
Many of the guns trafficked into New York City were responsible for the 140 percent increase in shootings this year, along with the 40 percent increase in homicides, officials say.