January 30, 2020

USA: NYC Parks Department Employee Allegedly Ran Massive Illegal Gun Ring. NYPD And Manhattan District Attorney Busted An Illegal Gun Ring That Ran Weapons Up From Georgia To New York City.

NY Post
written by Craig McCarthy
Wednesday January 29, 2020

The NYPD and Manhattan District Attorney busted an illegal gun ring that ran weapons up from Georgia to New York City — with a 33-year-old Parks Department employee as the accused kingpin, officials said Tuesday.

Authorities arrested five men — three city residents and two Georgia men — and seized more than three dozen “street guns” and trafficked firearms, including an AR-15 modified to appear to have a grenade launcher attachment.

“Guns like this appear on tables at 1PP all too frequently,” Manhattan DA Cy Vance said Tuesday, decrying similar operations for “flooding our streets with illegal guns.”

Justin Holmes-Austin, the alleged ringleader of the group, and 49-year-old Thomas Solomon were busted last Thursday after selling 35 guns ranging in price from $300 to $1,700 to an undercover detective, according to officials.

Holmes-Austin would often travel back and forth between the city and Georgia to smuggle at least five firearms, officials said. One gun, authorities said, was sent in late November FedEx up from Georgia.

The majority of the seized weapons were handguns, with three assault-style rifles confiscated by police. Officials said the modified AR-15 with the flare launcher attachment was a common tweak to rifles in Georgia and they did not believe it could be used for explosives.

The pair of accused gun runners appeared in Supreme Court to face numerous charges of sale and possession of firearms on Tuesday morning when their superseding indictment was unsealed.

Bronx man, Samuel Saunders, 43, as well as Georgia men, 27-year-old Jarvin Anderson and 34-year-old Kintrel Thomson, were charged with similar counts as well.

Saunders is already in federal custody, cops said. The two Georgia men, who were friends of Holmes-Austin, have been detained and are awaiting extradition.

“These are count eligible for the courts to set bail and bail has appropriately been set,” Vance said — noting that Holmes-Austin was held on $350,000 bail and Solomon on $100,000 bail.

“Firearm-related violence is one of the most significant factors impacting public safety, which is why gun seizures like these are critical,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.

A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation said Holmes-Austin was a seasonal employee for that last two years and has been suspended pending the outcome of his charges.
NY Daily News
written by Catherina Gioino and Wes Parnell
Sunday January 26, 2020

A pregnant woman was shot in both hands while parked outside her Queens home, police said Sunday.

The 38-year-old victim was parked in her driveway on 181st St. near 145th Drive in Springfield Gardens waiting for her sister, who was out buying pizza, when a gunman ran up on the car about 8 p.m. on Saturday, cops said.

The pregnant victim was rushed to Jamaica Hospital in stable condition with gunshot wounds to both hands. Cops did not have information on the status of her unborn baby Sunday.

Investigators recovered eight .45-caliber shell casings from the scene, sources said. No arrests have been made.

Residents in the quiet neighborhood were shocked when they heard shots ring out.

"We got scared and we were crying,” said Giselle McCrae, 11, who was having a sleepover at a friend’s house when the bullets began to fly. "I wanted to leave because I didn’t feel safe because I never heard real gunshots before.”

Blood and broken glass still riddled the driveway Sunday.

“Something like this has never happened," said Thomas Cabrera, 51, who lives a few houses down. “I’m not scared, but I am for my wife and neighbors.”

"I just hope they find the person who did it,” he added.

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