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The bust, which occurred after police intervened in an attempted early morning gun buy at the corner of North Conduit Avenue and Farmers Boulevard in Springfield Gardens, capped an 11-month investigation, known as "Operation Tripod," that led to the seizure of 114 guns valued at well over $100,000. Police seized 17 guns Sunday alone after detectives, according to court documents, observed a man allegedly placing packages in a portable bathroom at a construction site on 145th Avenue and 178th Place. The suspects then proceeded to a gas station on North Conduit Avenue, the prearranged location for the gun sale, where they were arrested by police, who had both locations under surveillance.According to police, Yusef Logan, of 134th Avenue in Springfield Gardens, is accused of being the ringleader of a major local gun smuggling ring. Logan's job, the Daily News said, was to buy the guns from the out-of-state suppliers, then distribute them to other purchasers. Logan was arraigned Monday and bail was set at $100,000, according to a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hines, Daniel Awuku, of Brooklyn, who was also arraigned in connection with the gun ring, had his bail set at $300,000 Monday.In addition, four suspects from Columbus, Ohio were charged with criminal possession of a firearm and criminal sale of a firearm, according to court documents. Bail for both Douglas Wellington and Matthew Brown was set at $300,000, the Brooklyn DA's spokesman said. Bail for Achsah Washington was set at $100,000. The DA's office could not provide the bail amount for Amire Smith, the fourth Ohio suspect charged in connection with the gun ring.In addition to the assault rifles, which have an estimated street value of $200, according to the Daily News, police seized several Tec-9 machine pistols, valued at $1,750 each on the street, and 9mm pistols, valued at $1,000, over the course of the investigation.Kelly, in announcing the largest weapon raid in recent memory, said the suspects often sold the guns for nearly twice their retail value. The guns, he said, originated in Ohio, Nevada, Maine and California. Kelly said that 72 percent of the guns used in crimes in New York are bought out of state.Deputy Inspector Edward Mullen, commanding officer of the 113th Precinct, which shares North Conduit Avenue with the 105th Precinct, said Tuesday that a solution to the problem of illegal guns in New York has to involve other states with "lax gun laws.""The mayor is moving in right direction, but we have to bring in other states," Mullen said, referring to gun-control efforts.Mullen said that the 113th Precinct led the borough in gun arrests in 2005."Its good that we're making arrests, but bad that they're out there," he said.Reach reporter Adam Pincus by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154
©2006 Community Newspaper Group
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