BROOKLYN (WABC) -- Four men were arrested Wednesday in a gun trafficking conspiracy that federal prosecutors said is the first case to be prosecuted in New York under the new Safer Communities Act, a bipartisan law signed last summer that increases the penalties for gun trafficking.
The four defendants, two from Brooklyn and two from Virginia, tried to "flood the streets of Brooklyn with over 50 deadly weapons," US Attorney Breon Peace said.
David McCann, Tajhai Jones, Raymond Minaya and Calvin Tabron were charged in a seven count indictment unsealed Wednesday with firearms trafficking conspiracy and other offenses.
According to police, the case began with complaints from residents of a public housing project in Canarsie, Breukelen Houses, where the defendants allegedly sold more than 50 illegal guns between January and August of last year. Two members of the operation obtained the guns from Virginia and then transported them to New York where they were sold to an NYPD undercover.
Some of the guns were made from ghost kits. Others had defaced serial numbers. Police traced some of the guns to shootings in Brooklyn, including an August 2021 shooting in Bedford-Stuyvesant in which eight people were struck.
Additionally, two of the defendants were accused of trafficking crack cocaine laced with fentanyl.
The Safer Communities Act, enacted in June 2022, is the first federal statute specifically meant to prevent gun trafficking by increasing the penalty to up to 15 year's imprisonment.