Today, Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Kelly and Manhattan DA Cy Vance announced the indictments of 16 gun traffickers and the culmination of two undercover police investigations in gun trafficking in East Harlem. The investigations confiscated more than 100 illegal guns, ranging from assault rifles to hand guns, making this one of the largest Manhattan gun busts in the last five years. Bloomberg said, "This investigation illustrates both the problem of illegal guns being purchased in other states and brought here illegally, and the skill and dedication of the NYPD officers who take the guns off the street often at great risk to themselves."
In the past 24 hours, police have arrested 13 suspects from multiple gun trafficking crews in East Harlem, including Mickey Collins, 64, a gun ring leader who has a varied criminal history going back to 1968, and his younger associate Samson Taylor, 34, who is known to have been driving guns from South Carolina, where many of the guns were bought, up to New York. Three suspects remain at large.
Regarding the Collins case, Kelly revealed that the operation was called "Operation Mickey Mouse Trap." In the other operation, which was called "Operation Carver" (because it was at the Carver Houses), he said, "The crews were groups of young men who named themselves the East River Army, Six-Net, Who-a-day, and the Total Money Gang."
Another suspect, Dario Wynerman, 21, allegedly sold an undercover detective 34 firearms and introduced the cop to other sellers. Among the firearms Wynerman and the sellers allegedly sold were a TEC-9, a DEC-9, a MAC 10, a .22 caliber assault rifle and RPB fully automatic machine pistol.
Bloomberg, Kelly and Vance were quick to note that, though these investigations have confiscated over 100 guns, it is small percentage of the guns on the streets of New York. Though New York proudly has one of the lowest gun crime rates of any American city, "one murder is one murder too many." They hope investigations like these will lower crime rates by exposing and arresting the gun trafficking crews that are responsible for 30% of the city's shootings.