Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr. today announced the guilty plea of TYREKE COLON, 25, for trafficking guns from North Carolina to New York City. COLON pleaded guilty in New York State Supreme Court to one count of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree. He is expected to be sentenced on November 14, 2023, to 13 years in state prison.
“Tyreke Colon threatened the safety of our neighborhoods by bringing dangerous firearms into the City up the iron pipeline,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Thankfully, the work of the detectives and prosecutors in this investigation prevented these guns from falling into the wrong hands. Our message is simple: if you illegally sell guns in Manhattan, there will be serious consequences.”
The joint investigation between Manhattan D.A.’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and the NYPD included obtaining a court-authorized eavesdropping warrant to intercept calls and examining GPS data, CashApp payments.
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, COLON sold a total of 36 firearms to an undercover NYPD officer on three separate occasions from February 2022 to April 2022. The investigation revealed that COLON recruited individuals he knew in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to obtain permits and purchase firearms for him.
COLON then traveled up from North Carolina either in a bus or car to Manhattan, where he set up sales with an undercover officer and handed over bags of weapons. All of the undercover buys occurred in broad daylight and were captured on video. Thirty-four of the weapons were semi-automatic pistols and two were revolvers. In total, COLON charged the undercover officer more than $40,000 for the weapons and magazines, which could hold hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Through the eavesdropping warrant, investigators were able to hear COLON clearly plan out his gun trafficking plan. In one call he asks a friend for instructions to provide the straw purchasers to obtain the necessary permits, saying, “What do you have to do once you do the application…oh alright so once you do the application you just go up there?”
Another conversation with a straw purchaser showed the ease of securing a permit in North Carolina, even with prior convictions for gun-related crimes, with one asking if he could “still get your gun license” with a misdemeanor gun charge. COLON responded by saying, “It possible. It ain’t like they won’t deny you.”
He is also heard discussing logistics with the undercover detective, telling the detective that the next time he could bring guns up to New York would be “towards the end of this month because I got like, well I got, I got a list of people getting all of them,” and that he had so many guns he “probably could bring the price down.”
Assistant D.A. Lauren Di Giovanni is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Christopher Prevost (Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit), and Executive Assistant D.A. Lisa DelPizzo (Chief of the Trial Division). Senior Investigator Joseph Monroig and VCEU Investigative Analyst Henry Newton are also assisting with the case.
D.A. Bragg thanked the NYPD and the Manhattan North Violent Crime Squad, including Deputy Chief Brian McGee, Inspector Peter Fiorillo, Deputy Inspector Daniel Campbell, Captain Kurtis Rose, Sergeant John Mejia, Sergeant William Dooley, Detective Matthew Sgambati, Detective Fidel Santiago, and the undercover detectives.
Rocky Mount, NC
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count