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NYPD dismantles multi-state gun ring, confiscates 23 illegal firearms: officials

Written by on July 22, 2020

New York City law enforcement officials on Wednesday announced the dismantlement of a multi-state gun trafficking ring from which they recovered nearly two dozen illegal guns.

Three people from Queens, N.Y., and a man from Richmond, Va., were busted on a slew of charges ranging from the criminal sale of a firearm and conspiracy, to criminal possession of a weapon, according to a press release.

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The quartet allegedly sold an undercover police officer 23 guns over the course of 13 sales that began in September 2019, when the officer bought the first handgun and a pair of large-capacity ammunition feeds, officials said.

An NYPD officer stands nearby as a crime scene is established in front of the Triple-A Aces social club on Utica Avenue on October 12, 2019 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

An NYPD officer stands nearby as a crime scene is established in front of the Triple-A Aces social club on Utica Avenue on October 12, 2019 in New York City. (Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

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The release alleges that Jessica “Cess Milla” Heyliger, 35, of Jamaica, Queens, was the “principal dealer of the weapons,” with Richmond-based Laquan Benson, 36, acting as “her main supplier.” Mitchell “Mitxh” Myree, 36, also from Jamaica, allegedly served as Benson’s “backup,” and 32-year-old Sharod “Yayo” King is alleged to have been “Heyliger’s salesman,” the release charges.

The takedown comes at a time when violent crimes, particularly shootings and gun-related offenses, have soared citywide.

“New York City has seen a disturbing spike in shootings over the last few weeks. Combating this dangerous rise in gun violence means cutting off the supply of illegal guns coming into our neighborhoods. Illegal gun traffickers put every citizen in our borough at grave risk,” Queens County District Attorney Melinda Katz said.

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From July 13 to July 19, shooting incidents increased 220 percent year-over-year, from 20 in 2019 to 64 in 2020, according to police data. The NYPD reported at least 77 shooting victims as a result of the shootings during that period this year, compared to the 25 victims during the same time last year.

So far in 2020, there have been 698 shootings and 854 victims, compared to last year’s 414 shootings and 481 victims, data shows.

Fox News’ Marta Dhanis contributed to this report. 

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