DOJ Seal

Department of Justice

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

For Immediate Release

Thursday, May 9, 2019
Geoffrey S. Berman
, United States Attorney

South Carolina Man Charged With Trafficking 25 Handguns Into New York City

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, John B. Devito, 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, Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the arrest of TORRIE JOHNSON, a/k/a “Torrie Terrel Johnson,” a/k/a “Black,” for trafficking 25 firearms from South Carolina into New York City, and for being a felon in possession of a firearm.  JOHNSON was arrested and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ona T. Wang in the Southern District of New York earlier today.

U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “As alleged, Torrie Johnson traveled from South Carolina to sell more than two dozen firearms illegally to an undercover officer in New York in the span of less than four months.  Stopping the flow of illegal guns into New York is essential to keep our city safe, and arresting alleged prolific gun traffickers is fundamental in that effort.”

ATF Special Agent in Charge John B. Devito said:  “As alleged, Johnson was responsible for transporting over two dozen firearms to the streets of New York.  Illegal firearms trafficking often has a nexus to a host of other violent crimes in our community.  Thanks to the efforts of the ATF/ NYPD Joint Firearms Task Force a trafficking scheme that could have put many at risk was dismantled and destroyed.  ATF and its law enforcement partners stand committed to ridding our communities of these illegal guns and those responsible for putting them on the streets.  I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for their work in prosecuting this case.”

NYPD Commissioner James P. O’Neill said:  “While New York City continues to see record reductions in gun related violence, we must remain ever vigilant against illegal firearm trafficking in order to protect the people and communities we serve.  This arrest demonstrates that the cooperation with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners is producing real results that keep people safe, and ensure they feel safe too.”

According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today:[1]

On at least five occasions between January 23, 2019, and May 9, 2019, TORRIE JOHNSON, a/k/a “Torrie Terrel Johnson,” a/k/a “Black,” sold firearms to an undercover NYPD detective (the “UC”).  In total, JOHNSON sold 25 firearms to the UC in Manhattan and the Bronx, including a variety of 9 millimeter, .32, .38, .40, .45, and .380 caliber pistols and revolvers, as well as hundreds of rounds of assorted ammunition.

JOHNSON purchased the firearms in South Carolina, and transported them to New York for the purpose of selling them there.  On at least two occasions, the UC specifically told JOHNSON that he was planning to transport the firearms that JOHNSON had sold him to a foreign country, and resell them there for a profit.  JOHNSON also told the UC that he was attempting to obtain for sale to the UC a Century Arms Mini Draco AK-47 semi-automatic pistol.

JOHNSON, 41, of Sumter, South Carolina, has been charged with one count of firearms trafficking, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(a)(1)(A) and 2, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 922(g)(1) (2), which carries a maximum sentence of 10 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 a judge.

The charges in the Complaint are merely accusations, and JOHNSON is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Mr. Berman praised the outstanding investigative work of the ATF, the NYPD, and the Joint Firearms Task Force.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Benjamin Woodside Schrier is in charge of the prosecution.

###


[1] As the introductory phrase signifies, the entirety of the text of the Complaint and the description of the Complaint set forth below constitute only allegations, and every fact described should be treated as an allegation.

New York Field Division