Suffolk County police have charged a Patchogue man who sold an illegal AR-15 semi-automatic rifle and multiple high capacity magazines to an undercover officer last month, officials announced on Thursday.
Police arrested Larry Guerrieri, 65, on Wednesday after they executed a search warrant at his Peekskill Avenue home and found 48 firearms, assorted illegal knives, military-style containers of ammunition and more than 50 large-capacity ammunition feeding devices, including a 50-round magazine drum, officials said.
Guerrieri sold the weapon to the undercover officer in January, officials said.
“This comes on the heels of yet another mass shooting in our country. We’re going to do our part to keep our streets safe,” said Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini, who later added that the weapons were “killing machines.”
Guerrieri pleaded not guilty at his arraignment on Thursday to charges that include criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, and a separate weapons charge, records show. More charges are possible as the investigation continues, Sini said.
Guerrieri’s attorney, Thomas Henry Spreer of Babylon, said his client’s wife told him most of the weapons had permits and her husband was just a collector.
“I’m sure given the current climate that this is an opportunity for the new district attorney and the new commissioner to make a splash and try to establish their agenda,” Spreer said. “I think we need to step back and assess the facts of the case and see what we have here.”
An officer from the Suffolk County pistol licensing bureau reported the tip that led to the investigation, Sini said.
Inside the home, investigators found a cache of weapons including four military-style rifles, 19 shotguns and rifles, 25 handguns, 10 knives, 18 metal cans filled with ammunition, 50 large-capacity feeding devices including a 50-round magazine drum. Also confiscated were what investigators believed to be armor-piercing bullets.
Sini, who was flanked by Police Commissioner-designee Geraldine Hart, would not say how Guerrieri acquired the illegal stockpile. He also did not say how long Guerrieri had sold weapons from his home.
Some of the weapons were sold for as much as $4,000. The undercover officer purchased the military-grade rifle and ammunition for $2,000, Sini said.
“We put an end to a recipe for a massacre,” Sini said. “These guns, if not seized as a result of this investigation, could have flooded the streets of Suffolk County.”
Guerrieri pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Central Islip on Thursday. He was ordered held on $250,000 bond or $125,000 cash.
If convicted, Guerrieri faces as many as 22 years behind bars, Sini said.
He is due back in court on Feb. 28.