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Two charged with trafficking firearms from Virginia to Queens, Long Island

September 7, 2018 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Richard Donoghue was officially sworn in as Interim U.S. Attorney for the EDNY by Chief Judge Dora Irizarry in Brooklyn’s federal courthouse in January. Photo courtesy of U.S. Attorney’s Office

Two charged with trafficking firearms from Virginia to Queens, Long Island

In U.S. Eastern District Court on Thursday, Derrick Hughes, 43, of Hampton, Virginia and Ronald Robinson, 47, of Queens, were charged with gun-trafficking conspiracy involving the sale of at least 19 firearms, including an AR-15 multi-caliber rifle.

The U.S. Eastern District includes all of Long Island, including Brooklyn and Queens, as well as Staten Island. Its main courthouse is in Downtown Brooklyn, although these proceedings occurred in its subsidiary courthouse in Central Islip. Both defendants were ordered detained pending bail hearings.

“Many gangs rely on illegal weapons to carry out criminal acts because they’re harder to trace,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney. “The two subjects in this investigation were allegedly trafficking illegal weapons along the 95 interstate corridor that leads directly onto Long Island. We are doing more and more every day with our law enforcement partner agencies to stop this pipeline, and keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”

“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants’ illegal trafficking of firearms brought deadly weapons to the streets of Long Island,” stated U.S Attorney Richard Donoghue. “These arrests demonstrate the commitment by this office and our law enforcement partners to save lives by stopping the flow of illegal firearms into New York.”

The defendants as alleged were part of a scheme that put illegal firearms onto the streets of their community,” stated ATF Special Agent-in-Charge Ashan M. Benedict. “ATF works with our federal, state and local counterparts to disrupt the flow of guns to our streets and prevent violent crime. I would like to thank all of our partners that made this case pos. I would also like to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting the case.”

According to the indictment, the gun-trafficking operation involved at least seven illegal firearms transactions on Long Island between January and April 2018, with transactions taking place in Rosedale and Valley Stream.

Robinson allegedly purchased two to three firearms at a time in Virginia, and within days, transported them for distribution in New York. Hughes arranged meetings with customers for the illegal sale of the firearms. If convicted, Hughes and Robinson face a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment.

–Information from U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of N.Y.