A man who used to assemble firearms for Smith & Wesson was busted along with two cohorts for allegedly trafficking weapons — including untraceable ghost guns and AR-style rifles — into New York, authorities said Wednesday.
Eduardo Hernandez, 29, of Queens, Jose Garcia, 46, of Massachusetts and Euclides Castillo, 30, of Florida, allegedly partnered up to run firearms from Massachusetts to the Empire State and sell them in and around the city between March 2021 and July 2022, according to New York Attorney General Letitia James.
Castillo, who was once employed by major gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, used his prior work experience to explain to buyers how to compile and operate the illegal guns, according to James.
On several occasions the guns were sold out of Hernandez’s home in Jamaica, at times during the middle of the day, the AG said.
“These dangerous weapons were being peddled in neighborhoods where families live and children play,” James said.
Fourteen of the 19 guns were sold to undercover police officers, according to James.
Cops recovered: nine 9mm semi-automatic pistols, eight of which were ghost guns; seven AR-15 style weapons, four were homemade; two .45-caliber pistols, and one sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun, as well as six high-capacity magazines.
None of the firearms were Smith & Wesson.
Hernandez was also busted for allegedly trying to sell more than 560 grams of cocaine, authorities said.
“The work in this case to eradicate guns and stop gun violence in the communities we serve has continued to make New York City safer,” said New York City Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell.
The 123-count indictment charges the three men with various counts of criminal sale of firearms.