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An 11-month gun sting ended over the weekend in Springfield Gardens with the seizure of 120 illegal firearms, including powerful assault rifles.
“This is a very, very significant seizure … the biggest one that I can remember,” Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said. “They were the source of scores of guns sold illegally on the streets of New York in the last year.”
According to police, members of the Ohio-based ring attempted to execute their latest deal on February 19 when dealer Matthew Brown, 19, allegedly holed up with two large boxes of guns inside a portable bathroom at a construction site on 145th Avenue and 178th Place.
The suspects then allegedly went to a location on Farmers Boulevard to meet the buyers and complete the transaction.
The NYPD firearms investigations unit, which had been conducting surveillance of both spots, moved in at around 5 a.m. to arrest leader Douglas Wellington and his associates — Brown, Amire Smith, 23, and a woman, Achsah Washington, 21, all of Columbus, Ohio.
At the scene, officers recovered 17 handguns, bringing the cache seized in the 11-month sting, named Operation Tripod, to 116.
According to Kelly, aside from Ohio, weapons also were illegally trafficked in from gun stores in Maine, California and Nevada.
“Seventy-two percent of all guns used in crimes in New York City originate from out of state,” Kelly said. “But it’s rare to apprehend the out-of-town supplier.”
Wellington and his crew would deliver the firearms to Yusef Logan, 31, the alleged leader of a major smuggling ring.
According to reports, Logan would then sell the guns to Daniel Awuku, 34, of Brooklyn, and Marvin Mrythil, 26, of Queens, who would in turn sell to drug dealers and criminals.
Awuku and Logan have been arrested; Mrythil is still being sought.
Since April, it is estimated that 97 guns — with a value of $118,000 — were sold.
None of the illegal weapons have been linked to a crime.
The bust came just one month after Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a crackdown on gun trafficking and violence.

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