Eleven people have been indicted and 154 firearms have been seized from Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Flatbush, as a result of three undercover NYPD operations going back to 2011, according to Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes and Police Commissioner Ray Kelly who spoke of the development Thursday.
“While New York City remains the safest large city in America, incidents of gun violence continue to plague our communities,” said Hynes. “The number of shootings in New York demonstrates clearly the need to keep illegal guns off the streets.”
Kelly noted that the firearms were taken off the streets of Flatbush, Crown Heights and Bushwick.
In the Crown Heights investigation, "Operation Trini", according to the indictment, undercover detectives from Brooklyn FIU bought a total of 87 weapons from Kerwin "Trini" Gobin, 25, between November 2011 and September 2012. Most were loaded. Along with pistols, revolvers and assault rifles, Gobin sold a fully automatic Stenmachine gun with a 25-bullet magazine-capable of firing 550 rounds perminute. He transported his arsenal in black plastic bags and duffle bags. After getting a warrant, police searched Gobin's home in Crown Heights and recovered 144 rounds of ammunition.
Gobin was indicted on multiple charges including two counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree; two counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree and 62 counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree. He faces a maximumof 25 years of incarceration if convicted on the top count.
Six others who allegedly supplied guns to Gobin have also been indicted. They are Hassan Pasha, Yolanda Samuel, Stewart Hamilton, TravainHillaire, Claude Laguerre, and Chris Salikram. They face between 7 and 15 years in prison.
A seventh individual, Kenneth Marshall, has been indicted possessing stun guns that he supplied to Gobin, who in turn sold them to theundercover detective. If convicted, Marshall faces up to one year in prison.
Individuals from Flatbush and Bushwick were indicted on similar charges as a result of two additional investigations.
"The average age of the sellers was 21-and-a-half," Kelly said. "Brokers delivered up to five sales per week, sometimes selling as many as seven guns at a time."
Kelly said that at least three guns sold in these operations were previously used in shootings in Brooklyn, and noted that the guns could be traced back to Augustine.
"In the 70th and 71st Precincts where most of these gun-buys were conducted, shooting are down by double digits; 63 percent and 38 percent respectively," Kelly said. "This is due in no small part to the targeted undercover buys like those that have been described today, and of course, the street enforcement that includes police stops and the community participation of our gun buy-back program…"
The investigation tracked several of the weapons that ultimately wound up in the hands of the NYPD to other states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio, Oklahoma, Alabama and Maryland.
“The dangers that illegal guns pose on our streets cannot be overstated,” Hynes said. “My office will continue to work with the Firearms Investigations Unit of the NYPD to vigorously investigate and prosecute all people involved in the illegal sale of firearms; and we will seek the maximum penalty for those found guilty.”