By Mark Hallum
An Oakland Gardens man shocked the city after he was charged with possession of a massive collection of over 65 illegal firearms, consisting primarily of assault rifles, and up to 50,000 rounds of ammunition, which he admitted to police his intent to sell, according to the criminal complaint.
On Sunday, NYPD officers from the 81st Precinct, who first developed information on the suspected cache, executed a search warrant on the home of Ronald Drabman, 60, who lives at 58-08 208th St. and later found even more illegal ammunition in his truck, the complaint said.
Drabman was not licensed to own guns and was not a licensed dealer, Brown said, after Drabman was charged with over 100 counts of criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a firearm and criminal possession of stolen property.
“The defendant is accused of using his home as a warehouse for illegal firearms — along with tens of thousands of rounds of live ammunition,” Brown said. “This stockpile of weapons poses a great risk to the residents of Queens. It is extremely disturbing to find such an arsenal of firearms in a residential community. The defendant now faces a lengthy term of incarceration for this obsession with weapons.”
Brown said Drabman faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Among the weapons were variations of the AR-15 assault rifle; AK-47s; semi-automatic M1 Garands, which were carried by American troops in World War II; high-velocity handguns such as .357 and .44 magnums; and shotguns of different varieties, according to the criminal complaint.
There were also submachine guns in the mix with a .45 caliber Thompson, or “Tommy Gun,” as well as an Israeli-made Uzi.
One weapon was recovered with a round in the chamber, the complaint said.
Another one of the weapons recovered was a homemade firearm known as a zip gun.
“I thank the Police Department for its swift response to a seriously dangerous situation,” City Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) said. “Queens residents are surely safer following the seizure of this large and potentially deadly cache of weapons.”
When cops executed a second warrant on the 1989 Ford pickup owned by Drabman, 40,000 rounds were found in different containers.
“I was trying to move it, I was trying to sell the ammunition,” Drabman told police, according to the criminal complaint.
NYPD Chief of Intelligence Thomas Galati claimed at a Monday news conference that the gun bust was unlike any uncovered in the department’s history, according to reports.
“This is one person that possessed all of these weapons, and like I said, an unprecedented amount of ammunition,” Galati said. “If you look at some of these weapons, there are high-power assault rifles, large magazines for them, plus a lot of handguns as well.”
On top of all this, the serial number on one of the .38 caliber revolvers indicated the weapon was stolen, according to the complaint, and $15,805 in cash was found in a Ziploc bag in the defendant’s home.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall