Photo Courtesy of Guns America
Among the illegal guns confiscated was a .45-caliber Smith and Wesson, similar to the one pictured.
By Forum Staff
A Michigan man has been charged for allegedly selling nearly two-dozen illegal guns to an undercover detective between July and October, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown and City Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill recently announced.
Justin McNeil, 28, was arraigned last Tuesday on a complaint charging him with first-degree criminal sale of a firearm and third-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was ordered held without bail and to return to court on Nov. 13.
According to the charges, on eight separate occasions dating back to July 3, McNeil met with a gun buyer—who was an undercover detective—and sold him a total of 23 firearms. The first transaction occurred on 168th Street in Jamaica. At that time, McNeil allegedly sold the “buyer” a Romarm/Cugir Draco .762 pistol and a Taurus .38 caliber revolver for $2,600. The pistol was a semi-automatic and had characteristics of an assault weapon, Brown noted.
According to charging documents, on Aug. 28, McNeil sold the “buyer” four pistols: a Taurus .45-caliber handgun, a Smith and Wesson .45-caliber handgun, a Ruger .380-caliber gun and a Smith and Wesson 9 mm pistol. The 9 mm handgun had its serial number scratched. The final buy was on Oct. 29, at which time McNeil is alleged to have sold three guns—all Cobra .380-caliber pistols—for $1,800. All three handguns were defaced with the serial numbers scraped off.
“The heinous shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is more than enough evidence of how assault weapons can devastate a community,” Brown said. “The defendant charged in this case transported illegal weapons from another state and brought them into Queens County. Many of the firearms had been modified to make them even deadlier. We must do everything we can to stop the trade of illegal weapons in our communities. I want to thank the NYPD’s Firearms Investigations Unit for their dedicated work on this case and each case they delve into. Their work saves lives.”
O’Neill noted that “there are some disturbing truths in this day and age: Illegal guns proliferate and circulate in higher-crime neighborhoods that still need our help. And, everyday, New York City police officers perform incredibly dangerous work to prevent them from getting into criminals’ hands—and from adding to the shooting and homicide tallies.”
The commissioner also thanked the investigators of the FIU “who put themselves in harm’s way so that every New Yorker, in every neighborhood, can enjoy a measure of freedom from fear that others may take for granted.”