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Long IslandCrime

Two charged in trafficking guns to Long Island, prosecutors say

Officials said the illegal activity by a Virginian and a New Yorker brought at least 19 deadly weapons to Long Island and Queens.

A Virginian and a New Yorker were arrested, accused of combining forces to illegally sell at least 19 firearms — including an AR-15 multi-caliber rifle — in Queens and Nassau, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Neither defendant, Ronald Robinson, 43, of Hampton, Virginia, who legally bought the guns in that state, or Derrick Hughes, 47, of Queens, was licensed to sell firearms, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York said.

Robinson, according to the prosecutors, bought two to three firearms at a time in Virginia, and "within days" shipped them to New York to be sold, and Hughes arranged meetings with customers.

At least seven illegal gun sales took place on Long Island between January and April 2018, prosecutors said, including in Rosedale, Queens, and Valley Stream.

Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said: “As alleged in the indictment, the defendants’ illegal trafficking of firearms brought deadly weapons to the streets of Long Island.” 

The guns were transported up Interstate 95, according to FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney.

"Many gangs rely on illegal weapons to carry out criminal acts because they’re harder to trace,” he said. 

Nassau Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, saluting the interagency investigation, said; "Every illegal firearm that we confiscate is another positive step in how we protect our residents and police officers."

Both defendants pleaded not guilty at separate arraignments in Central Islip and Norfolk, Virginia, and both were detained pending bail hearings, prosecutors said. Hughes' attorney declined to comment; prosecutors could not immediately provide the name of the lawyer representing Robinson.

The duo both face a maximum sentence of 5 years’ imprisonment if convicted, prosecutors said.

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