DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Southern District of New York

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Geoffrey S. Berman
, United States Attorney
Contact: AUSA Assigned

South Carolina Man Charged In Manhattan Federal Court With Firearms Trafficking

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Ashan M. Benedict, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (“ATF”), and James P. O’Neill, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of DAYVON CHESTNUT, a/k/a “Dayvon Denaris Wynez Chestnut,” for trafficking in firearms, including the trafficking of firearms from South Carolina to the New York City area.  CHESTNUT was arrested this morning in South Carolina by the ATF and the NYPD, and will be presented today on a complaint in federal court in the District of South Carolina.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “A big part of keeping our city safe is curtailing the flow of illegal guns to our streets.  As alleged, until today, trafficking in illegal firearms was Dayvon Chestnut’s stock in trade.  Now, thanks to the ATF and NYPD, he is in custody and awaiting prosecution by our Office.”

ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan M. Benedict said:  “As alleged, Dayvon Chestnut conspired to traffic firearms into the state of New York.  Those who traffic in firearms are a direct focus of the ATF mission to combat violent crime.  ATF and its partners at the NYPD work together every day to disrupt and dismantle these organizations and groups that circumvent the law by putting illegal firearms on the streets of New York.  I would like to thank the Special Agents and NYPD Detective Task Force Officers of the ATF Crime Gun Intelligence Center for their diligent work on this case. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the United States Attorney’s Office for their work in prosecuting the case.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint:

Since in or about 2016 through the present, CHESTNUT has been purchasing firearms in South Carolina, and directing others to purchase firearms in South Carolina, and selling those firearms to other individuals.  CHESTNUT utilizes Facebook communications and phone communications, among other methods, to communicate with some of his co-conspirators.  In April and May 2018, CHESTNUT traveled to the New York City area on at least four occasions to distribute those firearms. 

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CHESTNUT, 25, of Bishopville, South Carolina, is charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms and firearms trafficking, each of which carries a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison. 

The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Berman praised the efforts of the ATF and NYPD in this case.

This case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Sarah Krissoff in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

New York Field Division