Man accused of peddling guns, gun parts from prison to extremists

ByAnthony Carlo, Eyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, June 11, 2024 10:31PM
Man accused of trafficking guns, gun parts from prison to extremists
Anthony Carlo has more on the gun bust.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York state and federal authorities announced charges Tuesday against an alleged firearms dealer who was peddling guns and gun parts from prison in a case described as the "confluence of guns and extremism."

Hayden Espinosa, 24, allegedly sold illegal firearms and components to an undercover NYPD officer while incarcerated at a federal prison in Louisiana. He is charged with four counts of transport of a firearm and one count of attempted criminal sale.

Authorities say Espinosa would advertise silencers, high-capacity magazines, Glock-style hand guns and auto-sears - rapid fire modification devices which can transform a semiautomatic weapon into a machine gun.

Espinosa allegedly sold these weapons through the app Telegram. His channel called "3-d amendment" included an image of an individual with a swastika armband.

Authorities say Espinosa promoted racially motivated extremist views which attracted buyers who stockpiled on firearms and committed violence.

"It's an excellent example of how, in today's world, even straightforward crime often has a very multi-dimensional backdrop, as was the case with this investigation," Rebecca Weiner, Deputy Commissioner - NYPD Counterterrorism, said.

He allegedly made these sales from prison in Louisiana on cell phones that were smuggled behind bars.

Authorities found their way to Espinosa after the 2022 racially motivated mass shooting at Tops supermarket in Buffalo in which white supremacist Payton Gendron killed 10 black people.

In the month before his deadly, racist rampage, Peyton Gendron was hanging out in the Telegram channel called 3D Amendment that was a "hub of ethnically and racially motivated extremist ideology," law enforcement officials said Tuesday in announcing charges against Espinosa.

"We see this sad and tragic combination far too often, the intersection of gun violence and gun trafficking and hate and extremism. It is very, very disturbing," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

In addition, authorities say on:

Aug. 7, 2023: Espinosa allegedly sold two auto sears, one for a Glock-style handgun and one, which was 3d-printed, for an AR-style rifle to an undercover cop.

Aug. 25, 2023: Espinosa allegedly attempted to sell Glock-19 handgun to the officer.

Nov. 13, 2023: Espinosa allegedly sold two firearms silencers to the officer.

"It's alarming to think the amount of havoc that these high powered weapons and parts could have wreaked on the streets if sold by Espinosa could have had in our communities had this investigation not been as successful," Darren McCormack, Special Agent in Charge - Homeland Security - New York Office, said.

Espinosa was released from his federal prison term in Louisiana on June 4 and immediately arrested on the New York Supreme Court Indictment

His arraignment is June 24.


Some information from ABC News

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