For Immediate Release
Manhattan U.S. Attorney, ATF, and NYPD Announce Arrest of Three Individuals for Firearms Trafficking
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Delano A. Reid, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Division of the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (“ATF”), and William J. Bratton, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced today the arrest of two individuals charged with firearms trafficking in the Bronx, New York, and one individual charged with firearms trafficking, narcotics distribution, and possession of a firearm during a narcotics offense. The defendants will be presented later today before the Honorable James C. Francis, IV, United States Magistrate Judge.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, these defendants brought more than 50 guns into New York so that they could sell them on the streets of the Bronx. Together with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to work to rid our neighborhoods of illegal guns.”
ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Delano A. Reid, stated: “In these especially chaotic times, with firearm related violence pervasive in our society, I am extremely pleased to see that the assigned investigators and prosecutors have remained focused in their pursuit of these alleged firearms traffickers who mistakenly thought they could wreak havoc on the streets of this great city by selling weapons for their own financial gain. Now, as defendants, they will begin to appreciate the depravity of their conduct and will know that law enforcement will leave no stone unturned in the interdiction of interstate firearms trafficking.”
Police Commissioner William J. Bratton said: “The NYPD remains committed to saving lives by stopping the distribution of illegal firearms. We continue bringing traffickers to justice who, by providing easy access to firearms, play a significant role in perpetrating gun violence. As alleged, these individuals engaged in a trafficking operation in which they sold numerous firearms in the Bronx, to the detriment of the safety and welfare of everyone. Thankfully, NYPD investigators and our law enforcement partners dismantled the operation, and this flow of firearms has been shut down.”
As alleged in the criminal Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court :
From at least in or about December 2014 through in or about September 2015, PAUL BARRY, ANTHONY ROMAN, and TIANA WILLIAMS, the defendants, conspired to and did purchase firearms in Ohio for the purpose of illegally reselling the firearms in the Bronx, New York. During the course of the conspiracy, law enforcement officers conducted controlled purchases of over 50 firearms, including a semi-automatic assault rifle, and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition from the defendants. In addition, in or about August and September 2015, law enforcement officers conducted controlled purchases of ethylone, commonly referred to as “Molly,” from ROMAN.
BARRY, 31, of West Carrollton, Ohio, ROMAN, 37, of the Bronx, New York, and WILLIAMS, 24, of the Bronx, New York, are each charged with one count of one count of firearms trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to traffic in firearms, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison. ROMAN is also charged with one count of interstate transportation and receipt of firearms, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison; narcotics possession with intent to distribute, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and one count of firearm possession in furtherance of a narcotics offense, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencings of the defendants will be determined by the judge.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding investigative work of the ATF and the NYPD. He also thanked the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for its participation and support in this ongoing investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys Dina McLeod and Jason Swergold are in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the criminal Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.