Prosecuting Drivers of Violence
We’re holding people accountable for carrying guns. Gun violence spiked across the country during the pandemic, including here in Manhattan, and we’re meeting the moment by zeroing in on drivers of violence with our gun prosecutions. We also meet daily with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies through the Gun Violence Strategic Partnership to share information and focus resources on the most prolific drivers of violence.
- August 2023: We indicted three men for selling a total of nine firearms to an undercover officer in Harlem. “These weapons included ghost guns, assault rifles and semi-automatic pistols – all of which could have inflicted significant violence and harm on our neighborhoods,” said D.A. Bragg.
- July 2023: We indicted three individuals for the drive-by shooting and murder of 66-year-old Reda Girgis, an innocent bystander visiting from Egypt, in front of a deli in Washington Heights.
- April 2023: Douglas Young was sentenced to 41 years-to-life in state prison for the 2021 murder of 29-year-old Francisco Villalva, a deliverista.
- October 2022: We later indicted an additional seven OED associates for orchestrating a string of gunpoint robberies in Upper Manhattan. In a parallel investigation, the Southern District of New York also unsealed federal RICO charges.
- August 2022: We charged ten members of the Own Every Dollar (“OED”) criminal enterprise connected to a murder, attempted murder, and a string of violent armed robberies and shootings from Spring 2021 to Spring 2022 in Washington Heights, Midtown, the Lower East Side, and the Bronx.
- May 2022: We indicted a man for fatally shooting 48-year-old Daniel Enriquez inside a Manhattan-bound Q train in an unprovoked flash of violence that shocked our city.
Targeting Gun Traffickers
Almost every gun used in violent crime in Manhattan was trafficked here illegally from a state with weak gun laws. D.A. Bragg increased resources for gun trafficking enforcement, working closely with the NYPD and our federal partners. We’ll continue to target those who flood our neighborhoods with deadly weapons.
- June 2022: In just one week, we indicted two separate, unrelated gun traffickers for trafficking guns from North Carolina to New York City. Combined, the men trafficked 52 guns into Manhattan and sold them to undercover NYPD officers.
Tackling the Proliferation of Ghost Guns
D.A. Bragg is leading the fight against the new plague of “ghost guns,” firearms that are assembled from untraceable parts that can be ordered online. In partnership with the NYPD, we are increasing enforcement efforts, using wiretaps and undercover operations to make our city safe.
At a time when gun control measures are being eroded around the country, New York must remain a leader in enacting the most comprehensive anti-gun legislation possible. Together with New York State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal and New York State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, we announced new legislation to make the manufacture of 3D-printed guns and gun parts illegal. “Technology has made it possible for anyone to create 3D guns in the comfort of their own home. The ease at which people can create guns and gun parts poses a direct threat to the safety of our communities, which is why we are taking action to close these loopholes and strengthen the penalties on the books,” said D.A. Bragg.
- April 2023: With NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell, we announced the indictment of Christopher Fox for possessing equipment to manufacture 3D-printed ghost guns, chemicals to produce narcotics, and controlled substances in his Upper East Side apartment.
- October 2022: We indicted a man who manufactured multiple ghost guns – including assault weapons – in his Lower East Side apartment. In total, he is charged with purchasing at least 55 ghost gun parts worth more than $7,000, including a fully automated machine that can manufacture ghost guns with the touch of a button.
- May 2022: Francisco Martinez was sentenced to 5 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree for manufacturing eight operable, untraceable ghost guns in his Hamilton Heights apartment using component parts ordered online.
- May 2022: Alongside the Brooklyn D.A.’s Office, we indicted a man who illegally purchased and possessed a $20,000 arsenal of ghost gun parts, including more than 30 frames and receivers, nearly 300 high-capacity magazines, and related gear from online retailers.
Investing in Prevention
Our ultimate goal is to prevent gun violence from happening in the first place by supporting and investing in community-based organizations doing the boots-on-the-ground work. Our Community Partnerships Unit also offers Gun Violence Prevention presentations to reduce gun violence and strengthen community bonds.
Defending Our Gun Laws
New York State received a setback in getting guns off our streets when, in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, the United States Supreme Court overturned an important aspect of our gun licensing law which had been on the books for over 100 years. In response to this decision, we worked closely with the New York State legislature to draft a new gun licensing law, which took effect September 1, 2022. D.A. Bragg has taken the lead in educating New Yorkers about what the decision and the new law means for them, and crucially, fighting to uphold our existing gun laws in our courts.
In early 2023, we filed two amicus briefs in support of essential gun violence prevention laws. The first, NSSF v James, was filed in support of Senator Zellnor Myrie’s legislation to hold members of the gun industry accountable for business practices that drive the trafficking of illegal guns. The second, Antonyuk v Nigrell – which was joined by the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens District Attorneys – was submitted in ongoing litigation over the Concealed Carry Improvement Act. “We prosecute gun cases in court every day, and litigation is another important avenue we are utilizing to protect our state’s tough gun laws,” said D.A. Bragg.
In August 2023, in partnership with Queens D.A. Melinda Katz, Staten Island D.A. Michael McMahon and Westchester D.A. Miriam E. Rocah, we filed three amicus briefs as we fight to protect New York’s red flag gun law by supporting New York Attorney General Letitia James in ongoing litigation to keep this life-saving measure intact. New York’s red flag law is an essential tool for law enforcement to effectively address and prevent gun violence. “Gutting this law would significantly undermine public safety and I will continue to do everything possible to protect our state’s strong gun laws,” said D.A. Bragg.
Along with the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, the Small & Rural Law Enforcement Executives Association and the California District Attorneys Association, we also urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a federal law that protects survivors by keeping guns out of the hands of their abusers. If this federal law is overturned, survivors, their families and law enforcement officers will all be put at risk.