A Maryland man was hit with 336 criminal charges this week for the alleged interstate ghost gun sale, as authorities made the largest seizure of homemade gun kits in New York state to date , according to District Attorney Melinda Katz.
Broken down Wenli Bai, 57, was charged with 129 counts of criminal possession of a weapon, followed by an additional 129 counts of making, transporting, disposing of and defacing weapons and dangerous instruments and 78 counts related to the prohibition of unfinished objects. executives or receivers, according to the district attorney’s office Thursday. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.
According to Katz’s office, parts were salvaged from a sting to build 74 ghost guns, 129 high-capacity magazines, and additional components for the ghost guns.
From February 12 to March 8, Bai allegedly contacted a gun “buyer,” who was actually an undercover investigator from the DA’s office, to transport Old Line state firearm parts to the World’s borough, according to Katz. On February 15, an agreement was reached with the “buyer” to bring 15 Glock-style polymer-80 ghost gun kits and meet behind a business near 248th Street and South Conduit Avenue in Rosedale .
On February 18, investigators observed the suspect in a Toyota Sienna vehicle registered to his address in Maryland at the South Conduit Avenue meeting place as Bai allegedly sold the undercover officer 15 ghost gun construction kits as well as high-capacity ammo feeders that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and two complete Assault Pistol Ghost Gun construction kits, Katz added.
Under state law, an assault pistol is a semi-automatic handgun with a detachable magazine and has several other features such as a threaded barrel.
Defendant allegedly texted undercover officer saying, ‘If you want more kits, let me know,’ then scheduled another purchase for March 8 at same location in Rosedale, office says of the prosecutor. Following the exchange, police executed a court-authorized search warrant and reportedly recovered five different types of construction kits, four AR-15 lower receivers, four upper receiver internals, a trigger group model with a recoil spring assembly kit and 80 large capacity ammo feeders in the vehicle.
“In addition to the ‘iron pipeline,’ we now see a polymer pipeline of illegal and untraceable ghost weapons and southern ghost weapon parts,” Katz said in a statement. “These deadly weapons must be kept off our streets and my office will continue to work diligently to dismantle this new polymer pipeline.”
Legislation to crack down on the sale of ghost guns and ghost gun parts will go into effect next month, Katz noted.
“The new law increases the criminal penalties and will allow us to charge the sale of unfinished frames and inferior receivers as a crime,” she said in a prepared statement. “We thank the Governor and State Legislature for their diligent efforts to combat the scourge of phantom guns in New York City.”
Earlier this month, there was a seizure of ghost weapons in four raids of residences in Flushing and Bayside by authorities.
During a press conference at Katz’s office at the Queens Criminal Courthouse at Kew Gardens, joined by members of his staff, the NYPD, State Police and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco , firearms and explosives, she said: “This threat is not just emerging anymore… It is here and present in our neighborhoods today.
This sweep resulted in four arrests and investigators reportedly seized 33 firearms, approximately 10,000 rounds, 78 high-capacity magazines capable of carrying between 10 and 30 rounds, 16 polymer-based lower receiver frames for firearms and more Again.