A day after federal prosecutors charged four men from Brooklyn and Virginia with gun trafficking, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell commended local community members who she said came forward and played a critical role in the investigation.
The four men are charged with firearms trafficking conspiracy in a scheme prosecutors allege included the distribution of more than 50 guns, including difficult-to-track ghost guns and weapons used in two 2021 shootings in Canarsie and Bedford-Stuyvesant.
Brooklyn residents "decided last year when that case began in January of 2022 to work in collaboration with the police department to get those guns off the street and get those people off the street,” Sewell told NY1's Rocco Vertuccio during an appearance on "Mornings On 1" Thursday.
What You Need To Know
- Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged four men from Brooklyn and Virginia with gun trafficking
- During an appearance on "Mornings On 1" Thursday, NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell commended Brooklyn community members, saying they came forward and played a critical role in the investigation
- Sewell also said car theft crimes were on the rise in December — and authorities are looking to increase public awareness through PSAs and social media
“We have anonymous tip lines. We have officers that are in the community to encourage people to come forward, and this case is a demonstration of that — the police working in collaboration with the community to make it safer,” the commissioner said.
The high-profile takedown came after a year in which the NYPD reached a 27-year high in gun arrests. Still, Sewell said dismantling the so-called "Iron Pipeline" of illegal guns remains critical to keeping them off New York City streets.
While the city also saw a drop in homicides and gun shooting incidents year-over-year in December, car theft crimes were on the rise, according to data from the NYPD.
This year, Sewell said authorities are looking to increase public awareness through PSAs and social media.
“New Yorkers are the gold medalists when it comes to multitasking,” Sewell said. “I know you think when you're going in the store it's only gonna be one minute, but that's all a thief needs. So, lock that car, don't leave children in the car, if at all possible. [Thieves] only need a moment. So we're going back to kind of old-school methods.”