ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) -- Law enforcement agencies arrested nine and seized 18 firearms, shutting down a pipeline of illegal firearms into New York City.
Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco, Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), and Dermot Shea, Police Commissioner for the City of New York (“NYPD”), made the announcement Wednesday of a third superseding indictment charging the following men:
- James Thomas, a/k/a “spazz,”
- Duvaughn Wilson, a/k/a “dupree,”
- Courtney Schloss, a/k/a “bway,” a/k/a “balenci,”
- Ken Alexander, a/k/a “ryu,”
- Argam Taj, a/k/a “sour,” samuel taj, a/k/a “sosa,”
- Christopher Machado, a/k/a “chris elite,”
- Harlie Ramos, a/k/a “white girl,”
- Jamel Thomas, a/k/a “mel"
Each suspect was charged with conspiracy to commit gun trafficking and gun trafficking, in connection with their involvement in a scheme to illegally transport firearms from Georgia for resale to residents of New York.
THOMAS, WILSON, and SCHLOSS were also charged with interstate travel with intent to engage in gun trafficking. This case is assigned to United States District Judge Sidney H. Stein.
JAMEL THOMAS and ARGAM TAJ were arrested Wednesday morning in SDNY and went before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert W. Lehrburger Wednesday afternoon. KEN ALEXANDER was arrested Wednesday morning in the District of Massachusetts and will be presented before a magistrate judge Wednesday. WILSON, SCHLOSS, and JAMES THOMAS were previously charged; SCHLOSS and JAMES THOMAS are currently in custody. HARLIE RAMOS, SAMUEL TAJ, and CHRISTOPHER MACHADO remain at large.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “Today’s arrests shut down the alleged gun pipeline of these nine defendants. These arrests should also send a message to anyone who is thinking about illegally selling guns to New Yorkers or illegally bringing guns to New York: We and our law enforcement partners are watching. And we will prosecute gun traffickers to the fullest extent of the law.”
ATF Special Agent in Charge John B. DeVito said:
The individuals named in the indictment are alleged to have participated in a trafficking scheme which flooded our New York City Streets with illegal firearms. Combatting firearms trafficking lies at the heart of ATF’s strategy to stop violent gun crime. Exploitation of Crime Gun Intelligence along with effective collaboration with our law enforcement partners will allow us to disrupt and dismantle groups such as this that in turn fuel the violence in our communities. I would like to thank the New York Police Department for their partnership on this case and the United States Attorney’s Office for their leadership.
“The NYPD continues to work closely with our law enforcement partners to drive down gun violence and stop the trafficking of illegal firearms in New York City. I commend the work of the investigators and prosecutors whose hard work resulted in these arrests, firearms seizures, and indictment.” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea.