Gun-running family: Brooklyn man charged in trafficking scheme involving relatives

June 13, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
The Brooklyn federal courthouse where Tony Terry was indicted on charges of trafficking firearms from Georgia to New York. Terry, along with family members, allegedly orchestrated a scheme to illegally transport and sell guns, contributing to violent crimes in the area. Eagle photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Federal authorities unsealed a four-count indictment on Wednesday at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, charging Tony Terry with conspiring to illegally traffic firearms from Georgia to Brooklyn. Terry was arrested this morning and is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before United States Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the arrest and charges alongside Bryan Miller, special agent-in-charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and Edward A. Caban, commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD).

“As alleged, the defendant brought deadly weapons from Georgia to the streets of East New York, Brooklyn, a community that has suffered terribly from gun violence,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “My office and our law enforcement partners are working tirelessly to investigate, prosecute and disrupt the flow of illegal guns along the Iron Pipeline and keep them out of the hands of criminals who have no respect for the law or human life.”

According to the investigation, Terry made several trips to Statesboro, Georgia, between February and December 2022. During these trips, he allegedly used straw purchasers — his sister-in-law Jacqueline Christmas and her son Jose Marrero — to buy firearms from licensed dealers. Terry provided cash and a list of desired firearms to Christmas and Marrero, who then purchased approximately 17 guns on his behalf.

After acquiring the firearms, Terry transported them back to Brooklyn. He allegedly sold two of these guns in the New Lots area on Dec. 6, 2022, with one sale made to an undercover NYPD officer. The investigation linked several of these trafficked guns to violent crimes, including shootings and a homicide in Brooklyn, a car chase in upstate New York and a drug operation in Queens.

Terry’s criminal activities involved quickly turning around the purchased firearms, sometimes within days of acquisition and selling them in residential areas close to schools. His previous criminal record includes a conviction for attempted burglary in 2009, for which he served three years in state prison, followed by two years of post-release supervision.

The indictment highlights the coordinated efforts of Terry and his family members in facilitating the illegal gun trade. Both Christmas and Marrero have pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme, with Marrero already sentenced to 18 months in prison. Terry faces charges of conspiracy to traffic firearms, among other counts, and is considered a flight risk due to his connections in Georgia and the severe penalties he faces if convicted.

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