Five alleged gun traffickers based in New York City were arrested for selling over 28 firearms — including AK-47-style assault rifles, AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles, high-powered shotguns and high-caliber handguns — prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York said at least two of the guns were used during four separate shootings in Brooklyn.
"The defendants brought deadly weapons, including guns involved in at least 4 shootings, and narcotics to the streets of Brooklyn and Queens directly contributing to the cycles of gun violence and drug abuse," said U.S. Attorney Breon Peace in a release.
Jamel Clarke, Dwayne Harris, Rayon Lovett, Owen Welch and Ronald Welch were charged with engaging in a gun trafficking conspiracy dating back to September 2021, according to prosecutors. Harris and Khan were charged with trafficking crack cocaine, as well. Another defendant not identified by prosecutors is charged with drug trafficking, but has not yet been taken into custody.
The five men sold the guns — many of which had defaced serial numbers so they could not be traced — in Brooklyn and Queens between September 2021 and June 2022, officials said. Many of the deals took place in the middle of the day in public, including near a Prospect Park church and an elementary school, the U.S. Attorney's office said.
Some of the weapons had extended magazines and drum clips, according to the release.