HIGHBRIDGE, The Bronx — Investigators announced 10 arrests Tuesday after a year-long pursuit of alleged gun traffickers in the Bronx.
The suspects allegedly smuggled 50 weapons into the Highbridge neighborhood of the Bronx by carrying them on buses or stowing them in rented cars.
It’s alleged that brothers, Marvin Guzman, 31, and Melwin Guzman, 24, teamed up with their cousins from Allentown, Pennsylvania, Kelvi Acosta, 22, and Miguel Paredes, 22, to begin trafficking guns from out-of-state into New York.
They later allegedly expanded their operation to incorporate illegally purchased guns from Georgia and Texas. The majority of the weapons were initially purchased legally but were allegedly re-sold to the Guzman’s illegally. Among the weapons seized by police was an AK-47-style assault weapon.
None of the weapons were traced to crimes, but four were stolen.
The brothers made a mistake when they sold a weapon to an undercover police officer.
“They met the undercover to deliver it one-week before Christmas and they presented to the undercover gift wrapped,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark.
The NYPD has been specifically targeting gun traffickers for several years. Because of this, they say Bronx shootings are down 27 percent and shootings are down citywide 20 percent.
“It's amazing the amount, 120 less shootings this year than last year because of this type of investigation,” said NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce. "I don’t have to tell anybody what kind of carnage that an AK-47 can create in the street as we’ve seen in the last couple weeks."
Just two weeks ago the alleged gun trafficking group made a move to bring 30 more guns into the Bronx from Texas but the NYPD stopped it by making the arrests. Half of the defendants are facing 25 years in prison, if convicted.