For Immediate Release
North Carolina Felon Arrested for Trafficking More Than a Dozen Firearms to New York for Sale
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Dwayne Pickett, also known as “Waynehead,” was arraigned before Judge James R. Cho on a three-count indictment charging him with unlawful firearms trafficking and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. The indictment relates to Pickett’s sales and attempted sales of more than fifteen firearms that he trafficked from North Carolina to New York. Pickett was arrested on a complaint in September 2022. A federal grand jury returned the indictment on October 25, 2022. Pickett remains detained pending trial.
Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, John DeVito, Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Keechant L. Sewell, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges.
“Another individual who is alleged to have come into our district for the sole purpose of selling over fifteen illegal firearms has been arrested and will be held accountable,” stated United States Attorney Breon Peace. “This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to work nonstop to prevent guns from being trafficked into our communities and protect those who call this district home from gun violence.”
“As alleged in the indictment, Pickett, a convicted felon, in concert with others, trafficked more than fifteen firearms to New York City. A large portion of these firearms were sourced through theft and burglary. This case demonstrates how the steady trickle of firearms into our communities originate from any number of sources, and sometimes make their way to our streets in only a matter of days. Pickett is in custody today thanks to the outstanding work of the ATF Joint Firearms Task Force, the NYPD Human Trafficking Unit, the NYPD 105th Field Intelligence Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office EDNY. Our investigation and resolve continue,” stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge DeVito.
As alleged, in September 2022, Pickett traveled from North Carolina to Jamaica, Queens, where he sold ten firearms for approximately $11,000. The firearms Pickett sold were handguns of various makes and models, eight of which had been previously reported stolen from a firearms dealer in North Carolina. After returning to North Carolina, Pickett continued to market firearms for sale, sending one potential buyer pictures of a variety of handguns and their sale prices.
In late September 2022, Pickett again traveled from North Carolina and planned to meet with a purchaser for another guns for cash transaction. Pickett was arrested upon arriving at the planned sale location, while carrying a duffle bag with five additional handguns and assorted ammunition.
Pickett’s criminal history includes felony convictions that bar him from possessing firearms. The defendant is not a licensed firearms dealer.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement and the communities they serve to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone. This case is also being investigated by the Firearms Trafficking Strike Force, announced in June 2021, and designed to share information and otherwise collaborate across districts where firearms trafficking schemes cross state lines or jurisdictional boundaries to focus enforcement against entire trafficking networks, from the places where guns are unlawfully obtained to the areas where they are used to commit violent crimes.
The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney Kaitlin McTague is in charge of the prosecution. Law Clerk Beth Ann Bentley of the Office’s Asset Recovery Section is assisting on forfeiture matters.
DWAYNE PICKETT (also known as “Waynehead”)
Statesville, North Carolina
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-CR-486 (NM)