NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A Midtown Manhattan doorman and several others are accused of trafficking ghost guns from Tennessee to New York City, the NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance announced Tuesday.
They say the main suspect, 51-year-old Roberto Carmona, was selling the guns he obtained from connections in the south and transporting them up the so-called iron pipeline.
"Roberto Carmona allegedly used his job as a doorman to operate a highly illegal, one-man gun show out of the Midtown building where he worked, storing ammunition in his locker and selling multiple deadly weapons outside," Vance said. "Mr. Carmona is also accused of bringing his work home with him, selling dozens of guns outside the Morningside Heights building where he lived."
In addition to Carmona, police arrested Tennessee-based Harold Floran, 51, for allegedly selling 80 guns and corresponding ammunition to an undercover NYPD detective.
The indictment also charges two other Tennessee residents, 30-year-old Alan Goode and 41-year-old Melvyn McDonald, for knowingly supplying the firearms for illegal sales in New York City.
"New York City police officers risk their lives every day to prevent guns from getting into criminals' hands, because every shooting is a serious concern to the public and the police," Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said. "With too many illegal guns already out there, it's a great service that our NYPD investigators and prosecutors have performed in this case to ensure that these trafficked guns were taken out of commission before reaching our city streets."
The defendants are charged in a 141-count New York State Supreme Court indictment with fourth-degree conspiracy, as well as various counts of criminal sale of a firearm in the first, second, and third degrees, and other related charges.
According to the indictment, between January 29, 2021, and September 9, 2021, Carmona sold a total of 80 guns, including 63 semi-automatic pistols, 11 revolvers, 2 assault rifles, 2 rifles, 1 sawed-off shotgun, 1 shotgun, and corresponding ammunition to an undercover NYPD detective.
The 15 sales took place near Carmona's home in Morningside Heights and at a building on West 55th Street in Midtown, where he worked as a doorman and stored ammunition in his locker in the building's basement.
Prices ranged from $500 to $3,700 per firearm.
Authorities say the defendants orchestrated the gun sales through text messages and phone calls and exchanged cash and digital payments.
Typically, Goode and McDonald purchased the weapons in Tennessee and sold them to Floran, who then met Carmona in Virginia, Tennessee, or New Jersey to exchange the weapons.
Floran and Carmona allegedly used their personal cars to transfer the guns, but on one occasion, Floran transported the firearms in a U-Haul.
The Tennessee-based defendants typically purchased the weapons at gun stores but also discussed buying firearms on ArmsList.com, a classified ad website that serves as a platform for individuals to buy and sell weapons and accessories in private transactions.
Ghost guns are weapons that are sold in parts to make them untraceable, and in 2017, police recovered 19 of them. So far this year, 135 have been seized.
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