Whitestone man busted with arsenal of ghost guns, other firearms at his home: DA

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the arrest of a Whitestone man and displayed the weapons and ammunition that were recovered at his home. (Photo courtesy of DA’s office)

A Whitestone man was arrested, and a huge arsenal of weapons and ammunition were recovered during a raid at his home, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Monday, Aug. 22.

Joseph A. Maddaloni Sr., 55, was arraigned Aug. 19 before Queens Criminal Court Judge Diego Friere on a 140-count complaint charging him with criminal possession of a weapon and a slew of other crimes following a long-term investigation by the DA’s office.

Members of the DA’s Detective Bureau executed a court-authorized search warrant at Maddolini’s home on 25th Avenue on Thursday, Aug.18, and recovered a total of 42 illegal firearms including 15 fully assembled ghost gun semi-automatic pistols; 23 commercially manufactured weapons, including semi-automatic pistols, revolvers, shotguns and rifles; two AR-15 ghost gun assault-style rifles, one of which was a fully automatic machine gun; two commercially manufactured AR-15 assault rifles; two silencers; 33 high-capacity magazines; thousands of rounds of ammunition; and approximately $21,600 in cash, according to the DA’s office.

Katz said her newly formed Crime Strategies and Intelligence Unit and the DA’s Detectives Bureau initiated an investigation in May into individuals purchasing illegal firearm component parts by placing online orders with internet websites and marketplaces, shipping all the components necessary to manufacture illegal firearms directly to their doorstep. Maddaloni was soon identified as a major purchaser of illegal polymer-based unserialized firearm components which can be assembled into operable firearms with minimal effort, without serial numbers or the statutory requisite background checks, also known as “ghost guns.”

When they executed the court-authorized search at Maddaloni’s home, investigators allegedly observed an arsenal of firearms, ammunition, deadly firearm accessories, and other tools indicative of the illegal gun manufacture and possession of ghost guns.

“The investigation and arrest are critical to our efforts to stop the proliferation of gun violence plaguing our communities,” Katz said. “As alleged, the defendant possessed a deadly arsenal of weapons in his home — from personally manufactured ghost guns to commercially made firearms for which he did not have the legal right to possess. These illegal weapons must be kept off our streets and my office will continue to work diligently to hold accountable those who choose to endanger our communities.”

Judge Friere ordered Maddaloni to return to court on Aug. 24. If convicted, Maddaloni faces up to 25 years in prison.