Bklyn. Biker Gang- Bangers Busted for Gun Trafficking

Maspeth Man Among Eight Pinched

Federal agents collared a Maspeth man and seven other reputed members of motorcycle gangs based in Brooklyn on Tuesday, Oct. 16, for allegedly participating in a firearms trafficking ring, law enforcement sources reported.

Jose (a.k.a. Rusty) Perez, 49, was picked up along with seven other members of the three gangs identified as the Forbidden Ones, the Dirty Ones and the Trouble Makers for allegedly selling guns, ammunition and even a cannon to undercover officers during a sting operation conducted by the NYPD, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

In executing court authorized search warrants at locations where the gangs were known to congregate, federal authorities reportedly recovered additional firearms as well as makeshift bombs and quantities of drugs.

“One defendant even stored the gangs’ explosive devices in his home, despite the fact that his wife ran a day care center at the same location,” said U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Loretta Lynch. “Proud of living outside the law, four defendants openly celebrated their prior confrontations with law enforcement. All are now confronted with the consequences of their actions.”

“In a targeted approach, our agents, working with the NYPD, made multiple purchases of illegal firearms and ammunition and quantities of narcotics,” added ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Joseph Anarumo Jr. “The culmination of this investigation results in safer streets for our city.”

“The suspects should consider changing their names to ‘Busted Bikers’ after the outstanding work of the NYPD detectives and federal agents in this case, and by U.S. Attorney Lynch’s team in bringing it to court,” said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly. “We’re helping to keep New York safe by arresting and prosecuting those who carry, use or sell illegal guns.”

Also charged in connection with the trafficking ring were Scott (a.k.a. Spider) Brannigan, 61, of Rockaway Park; Samuel (a.k.a. Sammy) Moya, 44, of Manhattan and Brooklyn residents Nestor (a.k.a. Nesto) Cardenas, 46; Miguel (a.k.a. Mike) Maisonet, 47; Frank (a.k.a. Afro) Miranda, 50; Keith Terry, 52, and Jondale (a.k.a. Jay) Willis, 33.

Reportedly, the ATF Joint Firearms Task Force and the NYPD Brooklyn North Gang Squad launched an investigation in October 2010 into suspected trafficking of firearms by the gangs, each of which had previous “violent” run-ins with the law.

Posing as customers, law enforcement sources said, the undercover agents purchased guns and ammunition from gang members through arranged meetings at gang headquarters, tattoo parlors owned by the gangs or even at the homes of some of the members.

Each of the purchases were recorded by federal agents through audio and video recording devices, according to the criminal complaint.

Among the assorted, high-powered weapons purchased during the undercover operations were two AK- 47 assault rifles, a Tec-9 9mm assault pistol, a Kel Tech 9mm folding rifle, a Taurus .410-cal. revolver anda .243-cal rifle with night scope vision. The agents were also reportedly able to acquire armor-piercing ammunition.

The cannon purchased by the undercover agents was originally housed at the Forbidden Ones’ headquarters on Thames Street in East Williamsburg, federal law enforcement sources noted. The cannon was determined to be operational and capable of firing .50-cal. ammunition.

Federal authorities said that Perez allegedly conducted one of the illegal transactions with an undercover agent during a meeting on Oct. 27, 2010 in the Rockaways. After initially meeting at a tattoo parlor controlled by the Forbidden Ones at 91-08 Rockaway Beach Blvd., the suspect and the undercover agent then traveled to a home on Beach 91st Street.

At the location, the criminal complaint noted, Perez allegedly sold to the undercover officer a .762-cal assault rifle anda 36 rounds of ammunition for the sum of $1,000.

Additional transactions took place at another gang-controlled tattoo parlor located on Myrtle Avenue near the Bushwick/Bedford-Stuyvesant border and a home on Humboldt Street in East Williamsburg. The criminal complaint noted that Brannigan allegedly sold firearms which he imported from Florida and kept stored in his residence prior to the transactions.

During the course of their investigation, authorities reportedly learned that patches worn by the eight suspects served to identify them as gang members and, in some cases, denoted their previous encounters with law enforcement agents.

All eight suspects wore a “1% patched” logo which identified themselves as outlaws, according to federal agents. Four of the Forbidden Ones members-including Perez- allegedly wore a “bangout patch,” which showed two crossing handguns, to signify previous confrontations with police.

Another member with a “bangout patch,” Brannigan, allegedly took part in a violent melee last year that left several NYPD officers injured, federal authorities noted.

The gang members reportedly met at their respective headquarters and were heavily armed. Federal agents noted that they allegedly participated in numerous acts of violence to rob, collect debts, stop rival gangs and protect their territory.

All eight suspects were each booked on a count of firearms trafficking and face a maximum sentence of five years behind bars if convicted.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Celia A. Cohen is prosecuting the case.

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