YONKERS, NY – Yonkers officials today announced multiple arrests as the culmination of a longterm investigation into the illegal gun trafficking trade in the city.
Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano, Yonkers Police Commissioner Chris Sapienza, Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah, and DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III made the announcement in a joint press release.
According to that release, earlier in 2022, the Yonkers Police Department Narcotics Unit initiated a joint investigation with members of DEA Group D-43, New York City Police Department, New York State Police, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office into the illegal interstate trafficking of firearms to Yonkers.
“The investigation focused on the trafficking of “ghost guns;” partially furnished, non-serialized, and untraceable firearms that can be easily assembled to become fully functioning firearms at home with parts that can be bought online and through various retailers. These “ghost guns” are designed to avoid gun laws and regulations,” officials reported.
The following is from that press release:
On June 24, 2022, Detectives arrested Jose Gregory OLIVO-FELIZ (27) of Yonkers, Pedro Junior OLIVIO-FELIZ (21) of Yonkers, and Idanis LORA-ESPINAL (30) of Washington, D.C., in connection with this investigation. During those arrests, Netaly A. PENA-CAMILO (25) of Washington, D.C., allegedly fled from arresting officers but was later located in Washington, D.C., and apprehended on June 29, 2022, by members of the investigative team with the assistance of the FBI, DEA Washington Division, and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia. All four defendants have been arraigned in Yonkers City Court and are currently held without bail.
This joint investigation resulted in the seizure of TWO conventional firearms and 31 “ghost guns” that were allegedly purchased and assembled in Washington, D.C., before being transported to Yonkers for sale. The investigation shut down an alleged “Iron Pipeline” of illegal firearms from Washington, D.C., to Yonkers, NY.
“The Yonkers PD is doing a tremendous job in reducing gun violence by getting these illegal guns off our streets and out of the hands of those who want to cause harm,” said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano. “YPD’s proactive approach is working, but we need to remain vigilant to ensure these ghost guns do not infiltrate our neighborhoods. I commend the collaborative efforts of the joint agencies who worked with our Narcotics Unit to help stem the growing gun and drug pipeline that is plaguing our nation. Let these arrests serve as a message that Yonkers does and will not tolerate these guns in our community.”
Yonkers Police Commissioner Chris Sapienza stated, “This investigation shows the amazing work that can be accomplished when highly-skilled investigators collaborate toward the ultimate goal of public safety. Because of the efforts of these Detectives and their supervisors, more than 30 guns have been removed from the streets of Yonkers and its surrounding communities. I applaud the hard work in this lengthy and successful investigation by our Yonkers Police Narcotics Unit and our partners in the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, the New York State Police, and the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office, as well as the agencies in the Washington, D.C. area for a job well done.”
Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah stated: “The proliferation of illegal firearms, like ghost guns, flowing into New York from out of state is a grave threat to the safety of our communities. I’m grateful to the Yonkers Police Department and the numerous state, local, and federal partners who pursued this investigation and who work with us every day to rid our streets of illegal guns. As promised, I will use the full force of my office to prosecute gun crimes and gun traffickers.”
“New Yorkers should feel a little safer this holiday weekend after this gun trafficking network operating from DC to NY has been shut down,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank A. Tarentino III. “DEA’s strategic and targeted enforcement is focused on removing major drug threats and associated violence stemming from gun and drug trafficking networks. I applaud the diligent and courageous work by our law enforcement partners in New York and Washington DC area throughout this investigation and arrests.”