Say Bushwick Man Sold Firearms Over Phone
Selling over a dozen firearms to undercover officers was a costly proposition allegedly committed by a Bushwick man who was among 11 individuals indicted by the Kings County District Attorney’s office for illegal gun sales dating back to last year, prosecutors announced last Thursday, Oct. 18.
Henky Martinez, 34, of Bushwick (in photo at left) was indicted in September and remains in jail on $100,000 bail for allegedly selling 16 guns to undercover detectives in a series of transactions between August 2011 and June of this year.
Reportedly, Martinez arranged for the sales through phone calls and text messages. Among the items he allegedly provided were handguns and semi-automatic pistols, it was noted.
Busted through the NYPD Brooklyn Field Intelligence Unit’s “Operation Gates” initiative, Martinez was indicted on multiple counts of first-, second- and third-degree criminal sale of a firearm. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
As noted, the Bushwick resident was among 11 alleged gun dealers who were collared in recent weeks through three undercover investigations, according to Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, who announced the charges last Thursday.
In all, 154 weapons were seized from the 11 suspects. Hynes noted that many of the guns were imported to the city from other states. Approximately 27 of the firearms had serial numbers which were defaced or partially removed.
Law enforcement sources added that 26 guns were sold while loaded with ammunition.
The investigation reportedly found that six of the sold weapons were used for criminal activity, including a homicide.
In some instances, prosecutors noted, guns were sold to undercover operatives only days after being used in a crime.
“While New York City remains the safest large city in America, incidents of gun violence continue to plague our communities,” said Hynes. “The number of shootings in New York demonstrates clearly the need to keep illegal guns off the streets.
“Police officers risk their lives doing this, and continue to do it despite the lack of national will to shut down the iron pipeline that floods New York with so many illegal guns,” Kelly added. “We pay so much attention to these neighborhoods to make them safer, to bring some measure of freedom from fear in Bushwick, that might be taken for granted in Brooklyn Heights.”
Members of the NYPD Brooklyn and Manhattan Field Intelligence Units conducted the investigation under the direction of Capt. Raymond Festino and Lt. Michael Jennings.
Rackets Division Senior Assistant District Attorneys Enuyung T. Oh, Gregg Pinto and John McNiff are prosecuting the cases under the supervision of Michael Vecchione, chief of the Rackets Division.