D.A. Bragg Announces Indictment in Daycare Ghost Gun Bust

October 20, 2023

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., today announced the indictment of KARON COLEY, 18, for manufacturing and possessing ghost guns in his East Harlem apartment, which operates as a daycare center. COLEY is charged with multiple counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child, among other charges.[1]

The investigation, led by the Office’s Ghost Guns Initiative in the Rackets Bureau, is ongoing.

“Combatting the proliferation of ghost guns in New York remains one of my office’s top priorities,” said District Attorney Bragg. “Our Ghost Guns Initiative has taken more than 90 ghost gun parts, 70 firearms, 424 high-capacity magazines, and numerous other gear off of our city’s street since its inception. I thank our law enforcement partners for their work on this ongoing investigation.” 

Pictured: 3D-Printed Firearm with Loaded Magazine

According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, COLEY lives in an East Harlem apartment that has operated as a daycare center since 2021. NYPD officers executing a court-authorized search warrant discovered a 3D-printed pistol and a high-capacity magazine loaded with seventeen rounds of ammunition; a 3D-printed firearm with a magazine loaded with four rounds of ammunition; enough firearms components to assemble a 3D-printed assault weapon-style pistol; one 3D printer, filament, and tools used to assemble ghost guns; and credit cards in COLEY’s name. All of the weapons were contained in bags and bins inside COLEY’s bedroom, unsecured and easily accessible to the children.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, in partnership with the NYPD and other state and federal law enforcement partners, established the Ghost Guns Initiative in 2020 to address the proliferation of ghost guns in New York City.

Assistant D.A. Bonnie Seok of the Rackets Bureau, overseeing the Ghost Guns Initiative, handled the prosecution of this case, under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s David Stuart (Counter Terrorism Program Coordinator), Michael Ohm (Rackets Bureau Deputy Chief), Judy Salwen (Rackets Bureau Principal Deputy Chief), and Jodie Kane (Rackets Bureau Chief and Acting Chief of the Investigation Division).

The following members of the D.A.’s Office also assisted with the case: Trial Preparation Assistants Samantha Kritzer and Reva Kale, former Trial Preparation Assistants Rachel Broomer and Tyler Lopez, Steven Moran (High Technology Analysis Unit Director), Senior Analyst Boris Vestfrid, and Laurence Hayes (Supervising Cyber Response Investigator).

D.A. Bragg thanked the following members of the NYPD: Detective John Uske, Detective Christopher Thomas, Detective John Shultz, Detective Michael Billotto, Detective Victor Cardona, Detective Paul Molinaro, and Intelligence Research Specialist Dan Heesemann under the supervision of Sergeant Bogdan Tabor, Captain Christian Jara, and Inspector Courtney Nilan, as well as Detective Cicero Coloma of the Detective Bureau.  D.A. Bragg also thanked Homeland Security Investigations (Special Agent David Burpoe), U.S. Customs and Border Protection (Special Agent Jose Cubria), New York State Police (Investigator Christian Spears), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (Special Agents Andrew Vasaka, Paul Scocca, and Evan Moscou-Lewis).


[1] The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court and statements made on the record in court.