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West Babylonian men traded in spirit weapons from Pennsylvania: AG

WEST BABYLON, NY — Two West Babylon men were part of a gun-trafficking ring whose members mostly brought spirit weapons into New York and Pennsylvania from various online dealers, Attorney General Letitia James’ office said on Thursday.

James, who made the announcement with her Drug Enforcement Task Force, announced a 438-count indictment charging three men, including Devon Smith-Martin, 26, and Fritz Pierre-Louis, 46, and Hakeem Solomon, 26, of Sumter, SC, in connection with the gun trade in which 47 firearms were sold.

The indictment alleges the three involved trafficking in a wide range of ghost weapons, which are weapons without serial numbers or other identifiers, including assault weapons, machine guns and semi-automatic pistols. The operation also sold rapid-fire modification equipment, silencers, high-capacity magazines and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, prosecutors said.

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According to prosecutors, the investigation led to the seizure of 57 firearms, almost all of which were spirit weapons.

Smith-Martin and Fritz Pierre-Louis ordered ghost gun components and accessories from out-of-state online firearms dealers and had them shipped to an address in Pennsylvania, prosecutors said, adding that Smith-Martin then “dealt the gun components and accessories.” Assembly and sale to New York.”

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“As a result of the interstate ‘polymer’ pipeline trade, the investigation was dubbed ‘Operation Ghost Runner,'” prosecutors said.

The ring’s investigation resulted in the seizure of 57 illegal firearms, prosecutors said, including hundreds of hours of physical and covert surveillance, court-authorized tapping of numerous target phones, and undercover operations.

The state organized crime task force and partners on Thursday executed search warrants at the homes of Smith-Martin and Pierre-Louis and at the Queens construction site where Pierre-Louis works, prosecutors said.

According to prosecutors, investigators seized three Polymer 80 9mm ghost guns, including one with a rapid-fire modifier, and numerous high-capacity magazines, including those designed for AR-15 assault rifles.

Also seized, prosecutors said, were silencers, firearm components, including lower and upper AR-15 and 9mm receivers, threaded barrels, drill sets, Polymer 80 and AR-15 molds, assembly tools, pistol jigs and additional ammunition.

Smith-Martin acted as the primary contact for the sale of firearms to an undercover cop and communicated with Pierre-Louis, who ordered spirit weapon components and kits from various online firearms retailers and had the packages delivered to his home and a home in Allentown, PA, according to prosecutors.

Working with Pierre-Louis, Smith-Martin traveled to the Allentown home to retrieve the packages containing the gun parts and other accessories, prosecutors said, adding that Pierre-Louis then found the ghost guns at both his home and his work station would assemble.

Smith-Martin would then outfit several of the firearms with rapid-fire modification devices that turned the guns into fully automatic machine guns, prosecutors said. According to prosecutors, Smith-Martin also bought a few illegal but serialized guns from other people to resell.

Smith-Martin and Solomon also worked together to sell guns, prosecutors said.

Intercepted communications from Smith-Martin and Pierre-Louis often discussed how many finished guns they had available for sale and counted the tops and bottoms they had on hand, prosecutors said, explaining that the tops differed from uppers Receiver related, consisting of slide and barrel. and bottoms, lower receivers or the frame consisting of the trigger and firing mechanisms.

Specialty firearms discussed included AR-15-style rifles, as well as the addition of rapid-fire modification devices, often called switches, that convert a semi-automatic firearm into a full-auto, prosecutors said.

Discussions also included adding high-capacity magazines or clips, some of which prosecutors say can hold 30, 50, or 100 rounds of ammunition.

The three have been charged with various counts of criminal sale of a firearm, criminal sale of a ghost gun, criminal possession of a gun and conspiracy to engage in the illegal arms trade.

James said she would not allow the state’s streets “to be flooded with ghost guns, assault rifles or any other weapons of war.”

“Giving criminals easy access to illegal and untraceable weapons is a threat to all New Yorkers and a danger my office will not tolerate,” she said. murder machines.”

She credited law enforcement with “assisting and coordinating its members in our work to protect the safety and well-being of all New Yorkers.”

Smith-Martin’s attorney, Kevin P. O’Donnell of Queens, could not immediately be reached for comment.

Pierre-Louis will be represented by Mineola’s Seth Koslow.

Court information was not available for Solomon.

This story will be updated. Please visit us at a later time.


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