In New York City, 254 guns were seized after two men allegedly smuggled them in their luggage on incoming passenger buses. The men were arrested as part of a police sting that netted 19 people in alleged gun-running operations.
An undercover police officer bought the weapons from the alleged smugglers, Walter Walker and Earl Campbell, during a 10-month investigation that resulted in arrests in NYC, North Carolina, and South Carolina, according to The Associated Press
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The news site said New York Police Department officials and prosecutors highlighted the arrests as part of a firearms black market that exists between the southern states and New York City, where guns sell for higher prices.
Bridget Brennan, special narcotics prosecutor, said that it was disturbing what a simple business model the two men had in place. They apparently brought the guns in on discount buses where the fares were inexpensive and there wasn’t a lot of scrutiny.
“The marketing strategy was buy low, sell high, and keep a low profile,” she told the AP.
The case was built primarily using wiretaps and undercover work. Walker and Campbell used a variety of firearm suppliers to get the guns they transported, some from the black market and others bought from gun dealers, the AP said.
“The problem is that the gun laws passed now, so it’s like now I can only buy a gun from a gun store every 30 days," Campbell said, according to the indictment. "So I had to, like, pay different people to keep buying different guns.”
The two were arrested in their home states, Walker in North Carolina and Campbell in South Carolina. Others arrested supplied the guns, and one person was the owner of a music studio where some of the deals occurred, according to the AP.
The news agency reported that one of the sales occurred with Campbell’s girlfriend, who reportedly had a disassembled assault rifle in her zebra-striped bag. She tried to put it together using an online video on her phone, but the undercover officer bought it even though she couldn’t assemble it.
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