Joint Investigation by AG’s Arranged Criminal offense Endeavor Power, NYPD,
NYSP, and DEA Fees Three People with Providing 47 Firearms,
Firearm Elements, Ammunition, and Equipment
Bust is the Most recent in AG’s Initiatives to Crack Down on
Gun Traffickers and Get Guns off of New York’s Streets
NEW YORK – New York Attorney Normal Letitia James and the New York Drug Enforcement Task Drive now announced a 438-count indictment, charging 3 folks from a gun trafficking procedure that illegally offered 47 firearms, which includes ghost guns which ended up shipped to New York and Pennsylvania from different on the web suppliers right before being assembled. The indictment, unsealed in Queens County Supreme Court nowadays, rates Devon Smith-Martin, Fritz Pierre-Louis, and Hakeem Solomon with trafficking various ghost guns — weapons with out serial quantities or other identifying markers — which include assault weapons, equipment guns, and semiautomatic pistols. The gun trafficking procedure also marketed rapid-hearth modification units, silencers, significant-potential publications, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. In overall, the investigation led to the recovery of 57 firearms, 51 of which were ghost guns.
“I will not make it possible for our streets to be flooded with ghost guns, assault rifles, or other weapons of war,” mentioned Legal professional Standard James. “Giving criminals easy entry to unlawful and untraceable guns is a menace to all New Yorkers and a threat that my workplace will not tolerate. High-capability ammunition publications and fast-hearth modification units can quickly transform firearms into mass-murder machines. I thank our associates in legislation enforcement for their support and coordination as we function to shield the safety and properly-being of all New Yorkers.”
Some of the ghost guns, firearms, and extras, together with significant-ability
journal and silencers, recovered by way of this gun trafficking operation.
Today’s takedown was the final result of a 6-thirty day period joint investigation involving the Business of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Organized Criminal offense Process Force (OCTF) and the New York Drug Enforcement Job Drive, which is comprised of brokers and officers of the New York Town Law enforcement Division (NYPD), New York State Law enforcement (NYSP), and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The investigation exposed that Devon Smith-Martin and Fritz Pierre-Louis requested ghost gun elements and components from out-of-state on-line firearm stores and normally had them delivered to an address in Pennsylvania. Devon Smith-Martin then trafficked the firearm factors and extras to New York for assembly and sale. As a consequence of the interstate “Polymer” pipeline trafficking, the investigation was named “Operation Ghost Runner.” The investigation, which led to the restoration of 57 unlawful firearms, involved hundreds of hrs of actual physical and covert surveillance, court-approved wiretapping of numerous focus on telephones, and undercover functions.
OCTF and its partners executed search warrants nowadays at Smith-Martin’s residence and Pierre-Louis’s home, the two in Suffolk County as very well as Pierre-Louis’ career web site in Queens County. Recovered throughout today’s search warrants were 3 Polymer 80 9mm ghost guns, which include 1 geared up with a immediate hearth modification unit, a lot of high-capacity magazines, including types designed for AR-15 assault rifles, silencers, firearm ingredient sections, together with AR-15 and 9mm “lower receivers” and “upper receivers,” threaded barrels, drill kits, Polymer 80 and AR-15 “molds”, assembly equipment, pistol jigs, and more ammunition.
The 3 defendants have been billed with various counts of Felony Sale of a Firearm, Felony Sale of a Ghost Gun, Felony Possession of a Weapon, and Conspiracy for their participation in the unlawful gun trafficking procedure.
According to the indictment, Devon Smith-Martin acted as the most important place of make contact with for the sale of firearms to an undercover officer. Devon Smith-Martin would converse with Fritz Pierre-Louis, who ordered ghost gun components and kits from different on-line firearm shops and had the packages transported to his Suffolk County home, as effectively as a residence in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Doing work together with Fritz Pierre-Louis, Devon Smith-Martin traveled to the Allentown residence to retrieve the offers that contains the firearm factors and related accessories. Fritz Pierre-Louis would then assemble the ghost guns at each his Suffolk County home and his area of employment in Queens County. Devon Smith-Martin would outfit a number of of the firearms with speedy-fireplace modification units which turned the firearms into entirely-automated equipment guns. Devon Smith-Martin also procured a handful of illegal, but serialized, firearms from other individuals for resale. Devon Smith-Martin and Hakeem Solomon also labored alongside one another to sell firearms.
Intercepted communications disclosed that Devon Smith-Martin and Fritz Pierre-Louis often reviewed how many completed firearms they experienced offered to offer, counting the “tops” and “bottoms” they experienced on hand. “Tops” had been a reference to higher receivers, comprised of the slide and barrel, and “bottoms” were being a reference to lower receivers, the body comprised of the result in and firing mechanisms. Specialty firearms incorporated AR model rifles as well as the addition of fast-fireplace modification gadgets, frequently referred to as “switches” which change a semi-automated firearm to absolutely-automatic. Discussions also integrated incorporating superior-ability magazines, or “clips”, with some possessing the ability to hold 30, 50, or 100 rounds of ammunition.
The investigation resulted in the recovery of the pursuing firearms and ammunition from the defendants:
- 57 firearms, 51 of which were being ghost guns
- 38 9-millimeter semi-automated pistols
- 9 5.56-milimmeter semi-automated AR-15 fashion assault weapons
- Two .40-caliber semi-automated pistols
- A single .45 caliber revolver
- Eighteen firearms outfitted with rapid fireplace modification devices, generating them totally-computerized device guns
- Forty-six substantial-capability ammunition feeding gadgets, such as one particular 100 spherical drum journal
- A few silencers
- Around 800 rounds of ammunition
“Today’s fees present that some criminals consider they can run with impunity, in basic sight — the NYPD and our regulation enforcement partners exist to shatter that idea,” mentioned NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “I commend and thank everyone involved in this very crucial joint investigation. And I assure New Yorkers that our blended attempts will continue to be specifically concentrated on keeping fully accountable anybody who peddles unlawful guns on our streets.”
“Through the difficult perform of all the partners concerned in this investigation, we have eradicated dozens of unlawful, dangerous firearms from our streets and taken out a felony enterprise that had no regard for the potential influence of their actions,” explained Point out Police Performing Superintendent Steven A. Nigrelli. “I commend the Attorney General’s Business and all our companions for their ongoing commitment to halting the illegal trafficking of firearms into New York condition.”
“Smith-Martin and his partner’s gunsmith careers ended right now,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino. “With immediate solve and motion, law enforcement discovered, investigated, and arrested these gun traffickers whose steps endangered community life. I commend the New York Drug Enforcement Process Pressure and the New York Attorney General’s Office on their diligent get the job done throughout this investigation.”
“I would like to thank New York Legal professional Common Letitia James, and the customers of her Organized Crimes Process Power Bureau for their remarkable get the job done in this investigation,” said Postal Inspector in Cost of the New York Division Daniel B. Brubaker. “Today, collaboration amongst our law enforcement companions is how crimes get solved and persons are saved risk-free. No truer words can be spoken with the unsealing of today’s indictments. Fritz Pierre Louis, Devon Smith-Martin, and Hakeem Solomon conspired to use the U.S. Mail to acquire “ghost gun” sections. Once acquired, they created illegal guns and then offered these un-serialized weapons to line their pockets. This style of greed places people’s life in jeopardy and fuels the cycle of violence that we are trying to eradicate from our culture. The U.S. Postal Inspection Support is the law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Support. Our happy mission is to safeguard our workers, infrastructure, and prospects from prison assault. Any time the U.S. Mail is used in furtherance of a crime, Postal Inspectors will be there to be certain that criminals are held liable for their actions.”
The 438 count indictment — unsealed right now in advance of Queens County Supreme Court docket Choose Peter F. Vallone Jr. — charged the a few men and women with many crimes, including Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First, Next, and Third Degrees, Legal Sale of a Ghost Gun in the Next Diploma, Felony Possession of a Weapon in the Next Diploma, Prison Possession of a Immediate-Fireplace Modification Gadget, and Conspiracy in the Fourth Diploma, among other charges. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum of 25 several years in jail.
Individuals billed in today’s indictment involve:
- DEVON SMITH-MARTIN, 26, Suffolk, New York
- FRITZ PIERRE-LOUIS, 46, Suffolk, New York
- HAKEEM SOLOMON, 26, Sumter, South Carolina
The rates towards the defendants are simply accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent except and until eventually verified responsible.
Operation Ghost Runner is the most recent illustration of Lawyer General James’ ongoing attempts to consider down unlawful gun trafficking rings, help get dangerous guns and ammunition off New York streets, and end ghost gun kits and ammunition from staying mailed to New York citizens. Through OCTF, Legal professional Basic James has taken out guns and firearm components from nearby communities and billed hazardous men and women for breaking New York point out regulations. In November 2022, Attorney General James sent cease and desist orders to 39 ammunition sellers demanding that they end shipping ammunition directly to New York and warned them of significant authorized outcomes if they continue on to violate New York’s legislation. In July 2020, Legal professional General Letitia James ensured that 17 websites which manufacture and offer firearms or firearms parts ceased providing virtually finish assault weapons into New York condition. In addition, via her productive gun buyback system, Attorney Typical James has been equipped to take away in excess of 3,700 guns from New York communities since 2019.
In addition to our stated associates, the Attorney Normal would like to thank USPIS and Queens District Legal professional Melinda Katz for their useful participation and support in this investigation.
The investigation was led by customers of NYDETF Team T-23, beneath the total supervision of NYPD Deputy Inspector and NYPD Commanding Officer of the Drug Enforcement Process Pressure Thomas Kelly, NYPD DEA Performing Deputy Distinctive Agent in Demand Jimmy Arroyo, and Exclusive Agent in Demand of the U.S. DEA New York Division Frank A. Tarentino III. NYPD Assistant Main Christopher McCormack is the Commanding Officer of the Prison Endeavor Pressure Division. Main James Essig is the NYPD Chief of Detectives.
The investigation was led by OAG OCTF Detectives Brian Fleming and Brad Farrell, under the supervision of Supervising Detective Paul Grzegorski and Deputy Chief Andrew Manager. The Attorney General’s Investigations Division is led by Main Oliver Pu-Folkes. The scenario is becoming prosecuted by OAG OCTF Assistant Deputy Legal professional Basic Jason Navia, below the supervision of Downstate OCTF Deputy Main Lauren Abinanti with the help of OCTF Lawful Analyst Christine Cintron. Nicole Keary is the Deputy Lawyer Basic in Cost of OCTF. The Prison Justice Division is led by Chief Deputy Lawyer Standard José Maldonado. Both of those the Investigations Division and the Division for Criminal Justice are overseen by To start with Deputy Attorney Common Jennifer Levy.