At a press conference this morning, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Department Commissior Ray Kelly announced the largest gun seizure in the history of the city. Nineteen people were arrested on charges that they were running “a gun pipeline” that led from the Carolinas into New York City.
All of the guns — many of which were military grade — were seized by a single, unnamed undercover detective. “More than 200 guns is an astonishing number to recover by one undercover,” Commissioner Kelly said.
The Commissioner was also quick to claim that, despite the undercover officers’ involvement and all other apparent evidence to the contrary, the seizure points to success of the “stop and frisk” policy. Kelly’s claim rests on a wiretap of one of the accused, Eddie Campbell, who is heard to say that he prefers not to come to New York because of the stop-and-frisk policy: “I’m in Brownsville,” Kelly quoted Campbell as saying. “We got like, umm, uh, whatchamacallit, stop and frisk.”
Campbell is accused of selling 90 guns during 24 meetings with the unnamed detective. Another alleged dealer, Walter Walker, is said to have sold him another 116 guns. In all, 19 people were arrested for their involvement with the gun trafficking ring.
“There is no doubt that the seizure of these guns has saved lives,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “New York City, I’m happy to say, is the safest big city in the nation. We’re continuing to make our city even safer.”
Video of the press conference is below:
[“TUCK0142” by nycmayorsoffice via Flickr]