Alleged Gun Trafficker Indicted in NY
NEW YORK—A Bushwick man is facing 100 charges and a maximum of 50 years in prison after allegedly selling dozens of guns to an undercover officer earlier this year.
Christopher “Country” McPhaul, 43, transported guns and ammunition from North Carolina to Brooklyn, police said.
Over a six-month period, between April and September, McPhaul sold 30 firearms to the undercover officer on 10 occasions, according to the indictment.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said McPhaul came to the attention of the New York Police Department (NYPD) last year during a different investigation.
Undercover NYPD detectives then tried to gain McPhaul’s confidence over several months. Eventually one undercover detective started buying illegal guns from him.
McPhaul allegedly used a cellphone to communicate that he had a firearm shipment on the way. A text from McPhaul to the undercover officer read, “Have a lot of toys for the kids, I’m back, a little $2,500 will take them all!”
After arranging to meet in Brooklyn, he allegedly sold a .357 magnum revolver, two 9mm semi-automatic pistols, a .22 caliber pistol, and 47 rounds of ammunition to the undercover detective.
On another occasion, the defendant sold six guns to the undercover detective for $7,000, prosecutors from the District Attorney’s Office said at the press conference Oct. 16.
The defendant allegedly sold 49 guns over a six-month period to the detective for a total of $37,500, though not all have been included in the indictment, prosecutors said. Some of the guns not used in the indictment were inoperable and others were seized during an initial investigation. Five of the weapons had been reported stolen in North Carolina, Kelly said.
Investigators decided to apprehend McPhaul after learning that he had another major customer in Brooklyn that was not the undercover detective, Kelly said.
McPhaul was arrested in Brooklyn on Oct. 4 after returning from North Carolina earlier in the day.
If convicted of the top charge, criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree, McPhaul faces a maximum of 50 years imprisonment.
McPhaul was also was arrested in East Flatbush in 2006 for criminal possession of a weapon, and has an “extensive criminal history” dating back to the 1990s, Kelly said.
In January this year, McPhaul was arrested in Hoke County, N.C., for illegal possession of a firearm.
Guns From Outside
According to the NYPD, 90 percent of the firearms used in crimes in New York City come from out of state. Many of those guns come from North Carolina and Virginia.
“The NYPD is working to stop dealers wherever their source and thanks to enforcement efforts like this, shooting homicides are down 30 percent citywide,” Kelly stated in a press release.
Last August, the NYPD was involved in the largest illegal firearm bust in the city’s history—250 guns, illegally trafficked from North and South Carolina by two different groups, were seized by police as a result of a lengthy investigation.