NEW YORK—Two gunrunners, who were buying guns in North Carolina and South Carolina and transporting them for sale in New York City, traveled on buses operating out of Manhattan’s Chinatown, according to a statement from the Special Narcotics Prosecutor’s Office and the NYPD.
Walter Walker, 29, from Sanford, N.C., and Earl Campbell, 23, from Rock Hill, S.C., were transporting up to 14 guns at a time in their luggage. The two men operated independently of one another, but both initially sold guns to a Brooklyn-based broker, Omole Adeji, 29, according to the statement.
During the investigation, an undercover NYPD firearms investigative unit detective met with the defendants more than 45 times in total, buying 208 guns for $157,625, according to the indictment. The sales normally occurred within hours of each defendant arriving in New York.
Seven assault weapons were among the sales charged in the indictment, which included “a full automatic Cobray 9mm machine gun with a 30-round high-capacity magazine, three Intertec 9 assault pistols with flash suppressors and high-capacity magazines holding 30 or more rounds, a SCCY Industries 9mm handgun, and a Norinco SKS 7.62 x 39 mm assault rifle.”
About 36 of the 208 guns charged in the indictment had been reported stolen.
Agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are in the process of tracing the weapons.
Of the 19 individuals charged in the indictment, 16 were taken into custody in New York City, North Carolina, and South Carolina in a series of arrests that began on Aug. 2. The remaining three were already incarcerated on unrelated charges.