8 charged for trafficking guns across state lines in Chinatown buses

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BROOKLYN – Police have busted a gun trafficking ring that was shipping weapons into the city by using Chinatown buses.

These eight face gun trafficking charges across three states. (Photo: Brooklyn District Attorney's Office)

These eight face gun trafficking charges across three states. (Photo: Brooklyn District Attorney's Office)

Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson said 31-year-old Michael Bassier was the ringleader of the operation that snared eight men and women in three states.

The defendants were charged in a 541-count indictment on numerous charges related to the sale of dozens of pistols, rifles and firearms deemed assault weapons.

Thompson said that undercover police purchased more than a hundred illegal guns from the run during their investigation dubbed "Steel Merchant."

This is the third such trafficking scheme busted in the last year. Police say it's a result of lax gun laws in other states that perpetuate the black market.