Gunrunner in Chesapeake,is it connected to the Richmond show

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Gunrunner in Chesapeake,is it connected to the Richmond show

Post by billg » Tue Oct 18, 2005 8:44 am

From October 15 New York Post article "Going great guns"
A gun-runner suspected of funneling up to 75 illegal weapons onto the streets of New York in less than a year has been busted, according to a criminal complaint unsealed yesterday.

David Paul Winfield was arrested Wednesday in a sting operation in Virginia. An investigation by the NYPD and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives had tracked his booming business for nearly a year.

Winfield, 24, of Chesapeake, Va., is charged with selling 25 handguns and five sawed-off shotguns and rifles since November 2004, but sources believe his ring sold as many as 75 illegal weapons.

According to the criminal complaint, Winfield unloaded his weapons three or four at a time in a series of clandestine meetings in Chelsea and other sections of the city.

Little did he know that investigators were hot on his tail or that his buyer was an informant for the Joint Firearms Task Force, court papers show.

Winfield, who had no prior police record, is expected to appear in Manhattan federal court as soon as next week.

Investigators, meanwhile, are seeking several members of his ring, including straw buyers who would purchase the guns in Virginia, then hand them over to Winfield for resale.

Authorities said they launched the probe late last year after several of Winfield's guns turned up in connection with crimes in New York.

Investigators traced them and discovered that they had been used in the commission of crimes within just two months of their sale — an unusually quick turnaround for illegal weapons.

"Anytime there are illegal guns coming to New York City, there is a cause for concern. Seven guns per month heightens that concern," said William McMahon, special agent in charge of the ATF's New York office.

"The fact that crime guns were recovered and traced quickly enabled us to monitor the sales in Virginia and conduct safe undercover operations and led to this week's arrest."

In the course of the investigation, the informant met Winfield in a bugged car on eight occasions and bought a total of 26 guns, many with obliterated serial numbers, according to court papers.

In all, $13,500 changed hands, with Winfield charging $450 or more for handguns that licensed dealers typically sell for $150 each.

Most of the guns were low-end firearms manufactured by Hi-Point and Bryco — types favored by many criminals.

The meetings, seven of which took place in Manhattan and one in Brooklyn, were secretly monitored by ATF Agent Arnold Allen.

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