NYC Gun Bust: Officials Say the Biggest in the City's History


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Police in New York City just made a gun bust. They say it is the biggest in the city's history.

According to a report, Mayor Michael Bloomberg says police captured more than 250 illegal guns and indicted 19 people from New York to South Carolina during an undercover operation primarily involving two gun runners. Items included automatic assault weapons, handguns and even a machine gun.

"An undercover city police officer, posing as a gun broker for criminal customers bought 254 weapons from the two men in dozens of transactions since last year -- the largest gun seizures in the city in recent memory," an official said in a report."One of the guns was an assault rifle that was disassembled and transported in a girlfriend's zebra-stripped bag."

Officials said that although New York has some of the most rigorous restrictions on handguns, it is still difficult to minimize the black market traffic that moves them from the South up into New York City. Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan says the most major suppliers came from the Carolinas. She said evidence suggests North and South Carolina suppliers were severely indifferent to the damage they were causing as they knew exactly where the guns were going to end up.

"Perhaps the two most disturbing aspects of the gun-trafficking operation were the simplicity of the business models and the complete indifference of the gun suppliers to the mayhem their actions would cause her in New York City," Brennan said.

"The marketing strategy was buy low, sell high and keep a low profile."

But not all the guns were moved by black marketeers.The two main gun smugglers, Walter Walker and Earl Campbell used hometown contacts as straw purchasers which is not, in fact, illegal. People who are, for whatever reason, not allowed to obtain guns use someone else to purchase for them -- it becomes illegal when straw purchasers sell guns to someone they know is going to use them in the commission of a crime. Gun dealers are restricted on the amount of guns they may purchase at a time. According to officials, Campbell said, in an effort to circumvent this restriction, he would use multiple straw buyer at once.

"So I had to, like, pay different people to keep buying different guns," he said according to a report.