Southeast Queens man charged with possessing cache of ghost guns after Tuesday raid in Cambria Heights: DA

ghost guns
Ghost guns, including assault weapons and silencers, were recovered during a raid on the home of Lenold Caesar in Cambria Heights.
Photo courtesy of the DA’s office

A Cambria Heights man was criminally charged with possessing an arsenal of ghost guns, including assault weapons, silencers and other weapons-related paraphernalia after a search warrant was executed at his home on 235th Street Tuesday night.

Lenold Caesar, 43, was arraigned Jan. 30 in Queens Criminal Court on a 33-count complaint charging him with multiple criminal possession of a weapon counts and other crimes.

According to the charges, members of the Queens District Attorney’s office conducted a long-term investigation into Caesar’s purchase of polymer-based, unserialized firearm components, which are easily assembled into operable ghost guns. On Jan. 30, officers from the NYPD and the Queens DA’s Detective Bureau executed a court-authorized search warrant at his home and recovered five ghost gun pistols, three of them having “assault weapons characteristics,” such as detachable magazines with threaded barrels.

Authorities also recovered four silencers, a dozen ammunition-feeding devices, one short barrel rifle conversion kit, and three rapid-fire modification devices—also known as “Glock Switches” or Auto Sears”— that are capable of converting a semi-automatic pistol into a fully automatic machine gun. Law enforcement also seized two drills and other tools used to manufacture ghost guns at his home.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Anthony Battisti ordered Caesar to return to court on Feb. 2. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

“Illegal firearms cause unspeakable tragedies in our communities,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said. “I have prioritized taking guns off the street and will continue fighting the growth in ghost gun trafficking, a deeply troubling trend that threatens to make an already pervasive gun violence problem much worse. That is why this case is important and why my office is a leader in the fight against ghost guns.”

Queens DA Melinda Katz said her office has led New York City in ghost gun recoveries since 2021. Photo by Mark Hallum

Queens has led New York City in total ghost gun recoveries since 2012, according to the DA’s office. Last year, Queens led with 113 recoveries, or 31% of the 359 ghost gun recoveries citywide. Since 2021, the Queens DA’s efforts to combat ghost gun proliferation has resulted in the recovery of 351 firearms, 875 high-capacity magazines, seven 3D printers, and more than 113,000 rounds of ammunition.