Photo Courtesy of Google
According to the charges, the buys all occurred at this Home Depot parking lot in South Ozone Park.
By Forum Staff
Two out-of-state men were arrested last week for running guns through the so-called Iron-Pipeline, the stretch of Interstate I 95 that connects New York City with southern states that have weak gun laws.
The illegal firearms were trafficked from Georgia and other states and subsequently sold in the parking lot of the South Ozone Park Home Depot.
Anthony Black, 33, of Savannah, Georgia, and Rasheem Greene, 24, of Lake Park, Florida are charged with selling a total of 13 weapons and attempting to sell five additional weapons to an undercover police officer on multiple occasions between February 2016 and March 2017.
The buys took place in the parking lot of the popular box store’s where the guns were bundled in groups of two to six weapons at a time with price tags ranging from $1,400 to $5,000.
District Attorney Brown said that the stretch of roadway is a convenient corridor where “greedy unlicensed gun sellers…unlawfully bring their deadly wares to New York, putting the lives of honest citizens at risk just to turn an enormous profit.”
The defendants were arraigned on a criminal complaint charging them with the crimes of first- and second-degree criminal sale of a firearm, second- and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, second-degree attempted criminal sale of a firearm, criminal possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of marijuana and a violation of the city’s administrative code, firearms; unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition. They have been ordered to return to court on April 17.
A “sting” operation was conducted in which face-to-face street transactions involving both Black and Greene on several occasions over a one year period beginning in February of 2016.
An undercover police officer had communications with Black via texting and telephone calls. Black agreed to bring the firearms to Queens County for sale to the officer at a set location for a pre-arranged price.
On each occasion they met, Black arrived in different rental vehicles, and would bring the guns from his car to the officer’s vehicle. There was an exchange of money for the guns and then black would return to his car and leave the Rockaway Blvd. location.
The illicit transactions included one on February 29, 2016, when Black met with the undercover officer around 2:30 in the afternoon and sold two .38 caliber Hi-Point firearms and .38 caliber rounds of ammunition for $1,500. A little over a month later he met the officer around 4 in the afternoon this time selling tow pieces–a .40 caliber Glock and a .25 caliber Titan firearm – and fourteen .40 caliber rounds of ammunition for $1,400.
On June 30, Black the two met again, this time Black provided the undercover officer with three firearms – a 9mm Hi-Point firearm, a 9mm Smith and Wesson firearm and a .45 caliber Taurus firearm – and a plastic bag containing 30 rounds of ammunition for $2,550. Nearly three months later at the end of September, Black met with the undercover officer around 5 in the afternoon, while Greene sat in the car as a lookout, and sold six firearms – a 9mm Kahr Arms firearm, a .38 caliber Cobray firearm, a .22 caliber Browning firearm, a .40 caliber Glock firearm, a 9mm Sig Arms firearm and a .45 caliber Ruger firearm – and assorted rounds of ammunition and magazines for $5,000.
Then before March 29, 2017 Black communicated via text messages and telephone calls with the undercover officer, telling him that he had five firearms available. The undercover arranged to meet with Black on March 29 at Home Depot.
The officer heard from Black around noon to say that he was in the parking lot. Black and Greene were seen in the front seat of a white Kia Optima with Florida plates. As NYPD officers secured the vehicle, they allegedly detected a strong odor of marijuana coming from the car.
When police executed a court-authorized search warrant on the Kia they recovered five firearms – two .40 caliber Smith and Wesson firearms, a .38 caliber Walther firearm, a .45 caliber Hi-Point firearm and a .22 caliber Walther firearm – and 25 round of .40 caliber ammunition from a knotted white sack in the vehicle’s trunk. A pouch of marijuana was also recovered from the front passenger seat.
If convicted, Black faces up to 25 years in prison and Greene faces up to 15 years in prison.