When three generations of a family were found slain last week in an apparent drug-related homicide, it appeared to be just another example of the violence associated with Manhattan's drug trade.What's your opinion? Is New York City good at tracing guns used in crime? To me it seems very fast. And the information gathered seems very useful to the efforts at eliminating this criminal activity. What do you think?
But investigators say two hand guns found during the investigation of the Amsterdam Avenue slayings highlights another major New York crime problem — the illegal flow of weapons into the city using so-called straw buyers.
The two guns — one found at the scene and the murder weapon discovered in a nearby trash can — have been traced back to out-of-state gun shops.
A .380 Beretta semi-automatic, which police believe was used to kill two of the three victims, was traced back to a legal purchase at a gun store in Miami, Fla., in May 1990.
The ATF's Crime Gun Center, in New York, traced a .380 Hi Point, which was found at the scene, to Smitty's Sports Shop in Blakeslee, PA.
Both the gun store and the man who purchased the Hi Point — identified as Adigun Nicholson, 46, — are well known to the ATF. The ATF had identified Nicholson as a straw buyer, someone who legally buys guns that end up in the hands of criminals.
In January 2007, a gun was recovered by officers in the 46th Precinct in the Bronx and was traced by the Crime Gun Center to Smitty's where Nicholson bought it in December 2006.
An ATF investigation of Nicholson revealed multiple purchases — usually two guns at a time — by Nicholson from Smitty's between March, 2006 and February, 2007, the ATF said.
During an interview with Nicholson, he admitted to the ATF that he bought the guns for David Gonzalez from the Bronx, according to the ATF.
In May 2007, an undercover ATF agent arrested Gonzalez after selling him four guns in a sting operation. Gonzalez eventually pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 39 months in prison, a law enforcement official said.
Nicholson pleaded guilty in September 2008 to falsely stating on federal forms that he was the intended user of the guns and is serving 20 months in federal prison.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
New York City Traces Guns Used in Crime
The Manhattan News at DNA Info reports on the tracing of two guns used in the Upper West Side shooting. Thanks to Microdot for pointing this story out the me a few days ago. It's now taken on new interest.