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Queens man charged in gun ring

A Queens man has been arrested and indicted on charges relating to an illegal gun ring that trafficked weapons from Virginia to Queens for sale, authorities said Wednesday.

Juan "Junior" Leon, 30, of Astoria, sold as many as 30 firearms, on some occasions while the weapons were loaded with live rounds, to undercover New York City police officers posing as buyers, authorities said.

Leon met with the officers 20 separate times over the course of a year, police and prosecutors said. He was indicted by a Queens grand jury on 107 counts, including criminal sale of a firearm and criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Eleven of the weapons confiscated were originally procured by Corey Odle, 31, and Bryan Brown, 22, both of Newport News, Va., who stole them from households in Virginia and Pennsylvania, NYPD Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said yesterday.

The weapons were then trafficked via Interstate-95 - which authorities have nicknamed "The Iron Pipeline" - and sold in Queens by Leon at a profit, according to Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

"A small caliber handgun, for example, can be purchased on the streets of Virginia for as little as $75," said Brown. "It comes to New York, it can go up for as much as $1,000."

The indictments come just days after a 13-year-old Queens boy was accidentally shot in the head as he walked by an altercation. Kevin Miller died Friday after Nnonso Ekwebaglu, 16, allegedly fired two errant shots at another person during a fight, striking Miller.

"All you got to do is look at that case and understand why it is that all of us do what it is what we have been doing," said Richard Brown.

Police are searching for Ekwebaglu's gun, which they believe is in the Springfield Lake in southeast Queens, according to Kelly. Ekwebaglu was arrested Sunday and faces charges of second-degree murder, according to authorities.

Brown, whose extensive criminal history includes assaulting a Virginia police officer, is currently incarcerated in a Virginia prison on an unrelated firearms charge, according to Kelly. Both he and Odle will be extradited to New York to face charges that include criminal sale of a firearm and manufacture, transport, disposition and defacement of weapons.

A fourth person, Ainsley "Ace" Waddell, 36, of Brownsville, Brooklyn, was also indicted on charges relating to the case.

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