A bust in New York City highlights a problem for police in crime-plagued urban areas. While officers can control illegal gun sales in their cities, they have been at a loss to stop the flow of firearms from places with looser laws.
Eight people from three states have been arrested and charged with buying guns legally in Atlanta and Pittsburgh and bringing them to New York, sometimes aboard low-cost Chinatown buses. Bassier, 31, of Canarsie, Brooklyn, boasted how he could take advantage of less strict gun laws outside of New York and then sell the weapons at a premium in the city.
Thompson announced the charges today while standing behind a table filled with some of the 112 handguns, shotguns and assault-style rifles sold to an undercover New York City police officer for a total of more than $130,000.
In the last two years, Thompson said his office and the NYPD have taken 553 guns off Brooklyn streets but he conceded criminals can still “flood the streets of our city with assault weapons and other guns.”
The defendants have been variously charged in a 541-count indictment with fourth-degree conspiracy; first-, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a firearm; first-degree criminal possession of a weapon and other related charges. The defendants were arrested and arraigned over the last week, prosecutors said.