Sold Handguns with Drum Magazines Capable of Firing 50 Rounds
Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and Police Commissioner James P. O’Neill announced that two Florida men have been indicted on 128 counts of firearm and weapon charges involving the trafficking of semi-automatic pistols and numerous high-capacity magazines—including a model that holds 50 rounds—to the Bronx, where they were sold to an undercover NYPD detective.
District Attorney Clark said, “The defendants transported from Florida to the Bronx 16 handguns and, even more alarming, drum magazines that enable someone to fire 50 shots from a 9-mm pistol without reloading.
“The defendants allegedly brought these firearms to the Bronx, where a courageous undercover NYPD detective met with them and intercepted weaponry that could have caused carnage on our streets. With our law enforcement partners, we will aggressively pursue and prosecute those who undermine New York’s strict gun laws.”
Commissioner O’Neill said, “The NYPD and our law-enforcement partners remain precisely focused on anyone peddling illegal guns on the streets of New York City. Bringing these criminals to justice is dangerous work, but that’s our job: fighting crime and keeping people safe. I commend the members of our Firearms Suppression Section, and specifically the Firearms Investigations Unit, who take incredible risks each day just by upholding the oath they swore to the people we serve. Those who make their living by trafficking in these deadly weapons, and the violence so often associated with them, will always face the full consequences of the law – and I thank the Bronx District Attorney’s Office which worked so closely with us to bring about this important case. Together, we are making the safest large city in the nation even safer.”
District Attorney Clark said the two defendants, Andre Smithson, 24, of Kissimmee, Florida, and Isaiah Jones, 22, of Haines City, Florida, were arrested on August 20, 2018, after they allegedly sold firearms and high-capacity magazines to the undercover detective for a second time. They were indicted in November 2018 on 128 counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm, Attempted Criminal Sale of a Firearm, Criminal Possession of a Firearm, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon.
Smithson was arraigned on January 4, 2019 before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas and remanded. Jones was arraigned on January 15, 2019 before Bronx Supreme Court Justice George Villegas and bail was set at $300,000.
They are due back in court on April 3, 2019. If convicted of the top count of first-degree Criminal Sale of a Firearm, the defendants could face up to 25 years in prison.
According to the investigation by the NYPD Firearms Suppression Section, NYPD Firearms Investigation Unit and the Bronx District Attorney’s Criminal Enterprise Bureau, dubbed “Operation Hollywood,” on December 18, 2017, in a parking lot of a pizza franchise restaurant on Westchester Avenue in the 43rd Precinct, the undercover detective paid $5,900 to Smithson, who referred to himself as “Hollywood,” for four 9-mm pistols, a .45-caliber pistol and a .32-caliber pistol, as well as seven magazines with 10-round capacity, four magazines with 30-round capacity, and one 50-round drum magazine for use with 9-mm pistols.
On August 20, 2018, in an apartment on Tinton Avenue in the 42nd Precinct that was a short-term rental, the undercover detective discussed purchasing firearms with Smithson and Jones. There were six firearms on a bed: two 9-mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, a .45-caliber pistol, a .22-caliber pistol and a .380 caliber pistol, and six magazines. The detective purchased the merchandise for $7,000.
The defendants left the apartment after the sale, in an Uber car service, and were pulled over less than a block away by NYPD investigators.
In a backpack, Jones allegedly possessed another 50-round drum magazine for use with 9-mm pistols as well as four other firearms: three 9-mm pistols and a .357-Magnum revolver, as well as magazines.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Julia Gordon and Alexander Wolff of the Criminal Enterprise Bureau, under the supervision of Denise Kodjo, Deputy Chief of the Criminal Enterprise Bureau, and James Goward, Chief of the Criminal Enterprise Bureau, and the overall supervision of Tarek Rahman, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division and Jean T. Walsh, Chief of the Investigations Division.
District Attorney Clark thanked Assistant District Attorney Vladimir Kocheulov, Chief of the Crime Strategies Unit, for his assistance in the case. District Attorney Clark thanked NYPD Deputy Inspector Brian V. Gill, Commanding Officer of the Firearms Suppression Section; NYPD Captain Johnathan P. Korabell, Commanding Officer, and Detective Gustavo Medina of the Firearms Investigation Unit; and NYPD Detectives Christopher Shaughnessy and Douglas Lansing of the Drug Enforcement Task Force, formerly of the Firearms Investigation Unit, for their assistance in the investigation.
An indictment is an accusatory instrument and is not proof of a defendant’s guilt.