BROOKLYN — A Canarsie weapons trafficker who smuggled more than 100 guns – including assault weapons – into the city pleaded guilty Wednesday, prosecutors announced.
Michael Bassier, 32, paid people to buy guns for him in Georgia and Pennsylvania from September 2014 to August 2015. He then trafficked the guns into the city on buses or in a rented car to sell them at a markup. Bassier brought six guns into the city on each of his trips.
“This defendant knew what he was doing was illegal but had no qualms about putting the lives of Brooklyn residents at risk so that he could turn a hefty profit,” District Attorney Ken Thompson said. “These merchants of death willing to exploit lax gun laws outside of New York are now on notice that a prison cell awaits them in New York.”
Many guns seized by police come into New York City via the Iron Pipeline – a corridor of southern states like Georgia along the I-95 with lax gun laws.
Bassier paid $150 to $300 per gun, authorities said. He also gave a $50 commission to each of his straw purchasers per gun. He sold the guns to an undercover officer for $800 to $1,200 in a Canarsie Walgreens parking lot.
Twenty of the guns Bassier brought into the city were assault weapons, prosecutors said. Bassier charged $2,000 to $2,500 each for those. Undercover agents spent $130,000 on guns Bassier brought into New York.
Bassier boasted of his thefts in a wiretapped phone call.
“I’m selling them the right way and the wrong way,” Bassier said in a recorded call. “When I’m out of state, like Atlanta and Georgia and all that, it’s all legal. But New York, it’s completely illegal.”
Police busted Bassier in October 2015. He was the ringleader in a group of eight men and three women arrested across three states.
He is expected to be sentenced to 17 years in prison on Sept. 16.