The Nassau County District Attorney’s office has formed the Firearms Suppression and Intelligence Unit to combat an increase in illegal firearms and ghost guns, Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly announced on Thursday.
This new unit within the DA’s office will focus on long-term investigations into “ghost guns” and other illegal firearms. According to Donnelly, the Nassau County Police Department seized 94 firearms during criminal investigations between Jan. 1 and March 9, 2022, compared to 45 in the same period in 2021 and 51 in 2020. Out of the 94 firearms, 28 were ghost guns, meaning they were both illegal and untraceable.
“The volume of firearms that we’ve seized since the new year is truly staggering,” Donnelly said. “We are witnessing a once-in-a-generation surge of illegal and untraceable weapons into Nassau County and too many innocent people are becoming victims of gun violence. We will use every tool at our disposal and collaborate with every federal and local partner to stem the flow of these weapons into Nassau County.”
The Firearms Suppression and Intelligence Unit will have three prosecutors, two detectives, and one intelligence analyst, all specialized and experienced in weapons and narcotics investigations. The unit will share intelligence with federal and local partners to help get guns off the streets of Nassau, the DA said, adding that it will also “utilize enhanced investigative techniques and the new ballistics capabilities of the Nassau County Office of the Medical Examiner’s Crime Laboratory to analyze if previously unrelated shootings are related.”
“Our objective when we arrest a person with one gun is to find out where that gun came from and work our way up the pyramid to find out who is the gun supplier,” Donnelly said.
Many firearms seized in Nassau County come from out of state through trafficking along the “Iron Pipeline” on I-95 from southeastern states, according to the DA’s office. Additionally, more and more of the ghost guns being seized do not contain serial numbers, often purchased as parts online and assembled at home.
In February, a dentist and New York City firefighter, both Nassau residents, were arrested for possessing multiple illegal weapons, including ghost guns.
The dentist, 62-year-old Paul Carey, of Massapequa, was arrested for alleged possession of 30 firearms, including 20 assault weapons, 18 of them ghost guns. He also allegedly had 61 high-capacity magazines, thousands of rounds of ammunition, seven silencers, and multiple firearm parts. The FDNY member, Aaron Martin, Jr., of Baldwin, allegedly possessed two ghost gun kits, and a search warrant of his North Baldwin home yielded six assault weapons and ammunition. Martin is represented by Robert Gallo, Esq. Carey is represented by John Carman, Esq.