Two men who allegedly operated a Florida-to-New York gun trafficking ring were indicted today after selling more than 40 guns to undercover cops, worth more than $40,000. The 105-count indictment charges Watson Joachin, 27, and Ryan Woodard, 22, with selling weapons including 28 semi-automatic pistols, six revolvers, three assault rifles, four sawed-off shotguns, and five rifles. Most of the guns were purchased at pawn shops and gun shows in Florida, then sold fully loaded in Brooklyn. "We'll accept oranges from the sunshine state but not guns," Commissioner Kelly told reporters today.
Kelly was joined at the press conference by Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes and Mayor Bloomberg, who said that "even though we've cut crime to historic lows, children like Vada Vasquez are still getting shot on our streets." Bloomberg also blamed "extremists in the pro-gun movement" for the nation's lax gun laws, City Room reports. The announcement of the bust just so happened to coincide with today's "Day of Outrage" over gun violence, including a candlelit vigil for Vasquez, who has just emerged from a medically-induced coma after taking a stray bullet to the head in the Bronx last week.
Hynes used the opportunity of the indictment to call for tougher penalties for the sale and possession of firearms that have been transported from outside New York State. According to the mayor's office, his proposal "would increase the class of the offense by one level. For instance, the charge of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, currently a Class-C Felony, would become a Class-B Felony, if the gun were determined to be from outside the state."