Another southerner charged in Brooklyn for illegally selling guns in NYC
DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Though gun violence was down in Brooklyn last month, the borough is getting no help from the South as two people have been arraigned and charged in the Eastern District of New York on back-to-back days for trafficking guns brought up from Southern States.
On Wednesday, Kyler Booker, a 44-year-old from Little Rock, Arkansas was arrested and arraigned for illegally purchasing guns in the South and using Facebook to sell them in Brooklyn and New York City. On Thursday, it was Dwayne Pickett’s turn to be arraigned.
Pickett is a 27-year-old from Statesville, North Carolina also known as “Waynehead”. He was arrested on Thursday, arraigned before Judge James Cho, and charged with unlawful firearms trafficking and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition.
“Another individual who is alleged to have come into our district for the sole purpose of selling over fifteen illegal firearms has been arrested and will be held accountable,” stated U.S. Attorney Breon Peace. “This office and our law enforcement partners will continue to work nonstop to prevent guns from being trafficked into our communities and protect those who call this district home from gun violence.”
Pickett has been accused of traveling from North Carolina to Queens this past September where he sold ten guns for approximately $11,000. The guns were mostly handguns, eight of which were reported stolen from a firearms dealer in North Carolina.
Pickett made a second trip that same month, and was arrested upon arriving at the planned sale location. He had a duffle bag on him that had five handguns in addition to the one he planned on selling to the non-existent buyer that day. Pickett is a felon who is not allowed to possess a firearm and not a licensed firearms dealer.
The day before Pickett was arraigned, Brooker was arraigned for purchasing 137 guns in Arkansas and using Facebook to find buyers in New York City, prosecutors alleged. Law enforcement officers were able to recover 13 guns from sales allegedly linked to Booker.
Shootings are down across New York City and also in Brooklyn in the month of October, with 215 fewer people being shot compared to the same time period the year before, according to the NYPD. Citywide, they have recovered approximately 6,100 so far in 2022.
Brooklyn’s District Attorney Eric Gonzalez has often talked in the past about the so-called “Iron Pipeline” that brings guns into the borough from Southern states. In November 2020, four people were indicted for running a gun trafficking ring that brought guns from states like South Carolina and Virginia into Kings County.
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