2 indicted in Bronx gun trafficking operation; weapons sold to undercover officer

THE BRONX, New York City (WABC) -- An undercover gun bust in the Bronx led to the arrest of two men and more than a dozen weapons being pulled off the streets.

District Attorney Darcel Clark and NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill announced that the two Florida men were 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.

"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," Clark said. "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."

The suspects, 24-year-old Andre Smithson, of Kissimmee, and 22-year-old Isaiah Jones, of Haines City, 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.

If convicted of the top count, the suspects could each face up to 25 years in prison.

According to the investigation, 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.

Then, 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 at the time: 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.

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