On Wednesday, state Attorney General Letitia James announced at a news conference that four Suffolk County men were charged in a multistate illegal gun-trafficking ring. Newsday reporter Cecilia Dowd has the story. Credit: Newsday / Shelby Knowles

Four Suffolk County men, including an 89-year-old, were charged Wednesday in a multistate, illegal gun trafficking ring that sold dozens of firearms, assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition-feeding devices to undercover law enforcement agents, according to State Attorney General Letitia James.

The weapons, which were brought to New York through South Carolina, Georgia and Virginia, were sold out of homes in Brentwood, Deer Park, West Babylon and Islandia, often in the middle of the day, according to a 125-count indictment, unsealed in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead.

"This takedown is our latest effort to combat the sale of illegal guns in order to crack down on those who traffic firearms through the Iron Pipeline, or from other states with less robust gun laws," James said Wednesday at a news conference in Hauppauge. 

Prosecutors said Scotbert Green, 63, of Brentwood, acted as a broker, procuring guns and ammunition from James McNulty, 33, of Deer Park, Carl Singer, 89, of Islandia, and an unnamed source between January and June 2019. McNulty, who obtained guns from Harold Lamm, 36, of Deer Park, also sold weapons to undercover officers between April and October 2019, prosecutors said.

Some of the guns seized are displayed at a news...

Some of the guns seized are displayed at a news conference at the Dennison building in Hauppauge on Wednesday.. Credit: James Carbone

"These defendants put the safety of Suffolk County neighborhoods at risk for profit," said Nicole Keary, deputy attorney general in charge of the Organized Crime Task Force.  "Each gun that we seize, thereby preventing it from hitting the street, represents countless lives saved." 

The four men, who were arrested Wednesday, pleaded not guilty to a host of charges including second-degree criminal sale of a firearm, second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and fourth-degree conspiracy. Green, McNulty and Lamm also are charged with first-degree criminal sale of a firearm.

If convicted of the top counts, Green, McNulty and Lamm face a maximum of 25 years in prison, and Singer faces up to 15 years in prison.

A separate 28-count indictment charged McNulty with second-degree criminal sale of a firearm and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon in the sale of guns and ammunition to an undercover officer on Jan. 27. McNulty faces an additional 15 years if convicted on that indictment.

McNulty was held Wednesday on $550,000 bail, Lamm on $500,000 bail and Green on $100,000 bail. Singer was released on his own recognizance.

"Mr. Green adamantly denies these allegations," said Scott Gross, Green's defense attorney. "To be clear, he did not directly or indirectly engage in the sale of firearms. We look forward to defending these allegations and clearing Mr. Green’s name." 

Christopher Gioe, Singer's defense attorney, said his client "maintains his innocence" and hopes prosecutors "will conduct a fair and thorough investigation into this matter."

James D’Angelo, a defense attorney representing Lamm, said his client "maintains his innocence and stands by his not guilty plea."

McNulty's attorney did not respond to a request for comment.

Lamm has a previous conviction for criminal possession of a controlled substance while the other three defendants had no previous convictions.

The investigation, composed of federal, state and local law enforcement, dates back more than a year and involved physical and electronic surveillance and undercover buys, James said. Throughout the investigation, the defendants boasted to agents they could obtain guns from other states and bring them into New York, officials said. 

In total, investigators seized 32 illegal firearms, including two assault weapons, 18 high-capacity ammunition-feeding devices, semi-automatic pistols, rifles, revolvers, a shotgun and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition, prosecutors said.

The ammunition feeding devices, which enable guns to rapidly fire without reloading, were used in the 10 deadliest mass shootings of the past decade, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

"By getting these weapons off our streets and stopping this illegal business we are preventing them from getting into the wrong hands, preventing crimes and perhaps even saving lives," said Maj. Douglas Larkin of the State Police.

Linda Beigel Schulman of Dix Hills, whose son Scott was killed in the 2018 Parkland, Florida, shooting, lives a few miles from McNulty and Lamm. Schulman, who was returning home Wednesday from attending the State of the Union speech as a guest of Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-Glen Cove), said the arrests hit close to home.

"Think about what could have happened" Schulman said of the illegal weapons. "They could have been used in schools in Deer Park or Northport."
 

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