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Rosedale couple facing 20 years in prison after weapons stockpile found in home

Police seized firearms and components required to make "ghost guns" in a couple's Rosedale home they shared with their 10-year-old daughter. (Photo courtesy of Queens DA's office)

A Rosedale couple was charged with illegal possession and sale of firearms, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

Lisette Espinal, 32, and Ricardi Kiem, 31, both of Hook Creek Boulevard, were arraigned Friday, Oct. 15, before Queens Criminal Court Judge Eugene Guarino on a 39-count criminal complaint charging them with criminal possession of a weapon, criminal sale of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child and other crimes for allegedly having a stockpile of illegal weapons in their home.

Kiem was allegedly assembling “untraceable ghost guns” in their basement shared with their child, prosecutors said. As alleged, the NYPD was conducting an ongoing investigation and requested a search warrant on Oct. 12 for the home of Kiem.

On Thursday, Oct. 14, law enforcement executed the court-authorized warrant on the Hook Creek home where both defendants were present, along with their 10-year-old daughter. Tools and contraband were allegedly recovered from the couple’s bedroom and there were also firearms and components of firearms found in the dresser drawer of the youngster’s bedroom, according to prosecutors.

Police seized five fully assembled 9mm pistols, a fully assembled .22-caliber pistol, parts required to assemble three additional 9mm pistols, four large-capacity magazines and approximately 650 rounds of ammunition of various calibers and other firearm-related components in the couple’s basement, according to the charges.

(Photo courtesy of Queens DA’s office)

Katz said assembly and storage of the firearms were allegedly in plain view of the child in the home they all shared. The city’s License and Permit database showed that Kiem does not have a license to possess or own firearms in New York City and he is also not licensed to carry a firearm.

“Ghost guns are essentially homemade weapons that can be assembled by anyone without background checks or any other oversight,” Katz said. “Those who seek to enrich themselves by selling these deadly firearms are literally lining their pockets with blood money. Take this warning seriously: we will continue to relentlessly go after backstreet gun dealers to keep our neighborhoods safe.”

Judge Guarino ordered the defendants to return to court on Nov. 3. Espinal and Kiem face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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