Middle Village man sentenced on weapons, drug charges after aiming assault rifle at NYPD detective in 2020

Liriano with assault rifle
Surveillance video showed Lirana walking up the driveway of his Middle Village home with a bulldog carrying the assault rifle he would point at an NYPD detective in an unmarked car moments later, (Courtesy of Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s office)

Middle Village resident Julin Liriano on Dec. 6 was sentenced in Manhattan Supreme Court to eight years in prison for possessing cocaine, marijuana and three loaded guns, including an assault rifle that he pointed at an NYPD detective who was conducting surveillance on his street in 2020.

Liriano, 36, previously pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance and menacing, according to the city’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office.

“The sentence imposed today serves as a grim reminder of the dangerous connection between narcotics and guns,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget B. Brennan said. “I thank law enforcement officers who face grave risks conducting investigations in order to keep the public safe.”

On the evening of Oct. 7, 2020, members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York Drug Enforcement Task Force were conducting surveillance as part of a short-term narcotics investigation when they saw Liriano outside of his home at 85-25 Eliot Ave. in Middle Village with a bulldog while carrying what appeared to be an assault rifle. Agents and officers watched Liriano “cock” or load the rifle and point it at an NYPD detective inside an unmarked car. Liriano was ordered to drop his weapon, but rather than comply he instead ran into his residence.

Members of the NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit (ESU) arrived and disabled security cameras pointing outside of the residence. Liriano subsequently exited the home and was taken into custody.

“Lethal narcotics and illegal weapons create a dangerous mix that places our communities at risk,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “I commend our law enforcement for ensuring the streets of Queens County remain safe.”

Following the arrest, Task Force members, including DEA agents and NYPD detectives, conducted a court-authorized search of Liriano’s residence and his car parked in the garage. The search resulted in the seizure of three loaded guns: a semi-automatic pistol, an EVO 9mm carbine assault rifle and a MAC-11 submachine gun with a suppressor. Additionally, agents and officers recovered approximately 85 grams of cocaine, three pounds of marijuana, a scale, handcuffs and ammunition, as well as a bulletproof vest.

A court-authorized search of an extensive home security system yielded images of Liriano standing in front of his home holding an assault weapon, loading the weapon, and lifting it to point it at the detective’s vehicle. The security footage also showed that after Liriano refused to drop his weapon and fled back into his home, he carried multiple backpacks out to the garage and crammed them into an area of the car where the guns were found.

“Today’s sentencing is the result of the exceptional effort and steadfast dedication of everyone involved in this investigation,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “Illegal guns and illicit drugs put New Yorkers at significant risk, and we must ensure that dealing in this lethal combination results in real consequences.”

Liriano received the sentence of eight years in prison to be followed by five years of post-release supervision.