A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea Of The Leader Of A Brooklyn Based Gun Trafficking Ring

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2016

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEA OF THE LEADER OF A BROOKLYN BASED GUN TRAFFICKING RING

Dubbed “Operation Midnight Run,” Joint AG-NYPD Investigation Leads To A Top Count Plea For Lead Defendant Natasha Harris; Harris Will Be Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison

Schneiderman: If You Bring Deadly Illegal Weapons Into Our State, We Will Catch You And Prosecute To The Fullest Extent Of The Law

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today the top count plea of Natasha Harris for her role as the leader of a high-volume gun trafficking ring. Harris will be sentenced to 15 years in prison. Harris pled guilty to seventeen counts including multiple counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree. 

“Natasha Harris led a dangerous gun trafficking ring that used Chinatown buses as a method to bring guns into our communities and fuel the epidemic of gun violence,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “Today’s guilty plea sends a clear message– if you bring deadly illegal weapons into our state, we will catch you and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”

The investigation, led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the NYPD’s Firearms Investigation Unit, began in the spring of 2014. The investigation involved a high-volume gun trafficking ring that allegedly funneled firearms from Florida to New York City, often beneath Chinatown buses. According to the 196-count felony indictment the investigative team seized more than 70 illegal guns bought at gun shows in Florida, many of which were then resold in New York for up to four times their original price.

Defendant Octavio Batista was previously sentenced to 12 years in prison. Defendant Michele Cantres was also sentenced to seven years in prison and five years post release supervision.

 The case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General – Downstate Deputy Chief Diego Hernandez. Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff runs the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force. The Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice is Kelly Donovan.

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