9 Charged With Trafficking Dozens of Guns to New York From Georgia
The strike forces, including one in New York, are said to be led by U.S. attorneys who work with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, law enforcement and other authorities, the Justice Department said.
Audrey Strauss, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the arms smuggling operation relied on Duvaughn Wilson, the Georgia buyer, who was indicted in the indictment.
In his role as straw buyer, Strauss said, Wilson “claimed he was buying guns for himself when he was in fact buying them illegally for the New York defendants.”
Mr Wilson used his own name to purchase the guns from at least six licensed dealers in Georgia, but signed forms attesting that he was not purchasing them on behalf of other people, according to the act of ‘charge.
Mr. Wilson pleaded not guilty; his lawyer declined to comment.
The indictment accused one of the defendants who placed gun orders, Courtney Schloss, and in many cases the people he sold them to, were members of an aspiring rapper group based in Brooklyn known as the Blixky Gang. Mr. Schloss also pleaded not guilty; his lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Members of the group have produced video clips that appear on YouTube and other social media platforms, according to the indictment. And while its members sometimes resold weapons they obtained in the ring, some kept a supply of guns for their own use, including in the production of music videos, the government said.
One such video, titled “Word to Folk” and made in October, was uploaded to a popular video streaming platform and showed participants holding guns, many of which appeared to be guns purchased by Mr. Wilson, the buyer in Georgia, according to the indictment. .
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