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A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Pleas Of Two Defendants For Their Roles In Operating Interstate Gun Trafficking Ring

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 8, 2017

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES GUILTY PLEAS OF TWO DEFENDANTS FOR THEIR ROLES IN OPERATING INTERSTATE GUN TRAFFICKING RING

Joint AG-NYPD Investigation Leads To Guilty Pleas For Defendants Donovan Bryant And Shantae Blue; Bryant Will Be Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison And Blue Will Be Sentenced to 4 Years In Prison

Bryant And Blue Participated In Trafficking Ring Which Smuggled Handguns From South Carolina, North Carolina, And Tennessee Into New York Through The Port Authority Bus Terminal

AG Schneiderman Report Found That Nearly Nine Out Of Ten (86%) Of Recovered Handguns -- The Weapon Of Choice For Violent Criminals -- Come From Out-Of-State

Schneiderman: We Won’t Hesitate To Act To Protect Our Communities From Illegal Guns

NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the pleas of Donovan Bryant and Shantae Blue for their roles in a high-volume gun trafficking ring that funneled firearms from South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee to New York City, often aboard Greyhound buses that ran through the Port Authority Bus Terminal. 

The investigation, led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the NYPD’s Gang Squad Brooklyn North, relied on undercover work, wiretaps, and other surveillance and resulted in the seizure of 50 illegal handguns smuggled into New York City from out-of-state. 

Bryant, of Charlotte, NC, pled guilty today to criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and conspiracy in the fourth degree. He will be sentenced to 12 years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision. Blue, of Charlotte, NC, pled guilty today to criminal sale of a firearm in the second degree, criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, and conspiracy in the fourth degree.  She will be sentenced to four years in prison followed by five years of post-release supervision.

“Even as we work to make our streets safer, we’re undermined by those who illegally traffic guns into New York – and we won’t hesitate to act to protect our communities,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Our first-of-its-kind report and interactive tool make clear the importance of cracking down on gun trafficking. We’ll continue to partner with local law enforcement and remain vigilant against those who seek to undermine the safety of our neighborhoods and make us all more vulnerable to violent crimes.”

The investigation, which began in June 2015, led to the arrests of Donovan Bryant, Shantae Blue, Marlon Manswell, and Colby Inabinet for their participation in the illegal gun ring.  Bryant – with the aid of Blue, Manswell, and Inabinet – were charged with transporting dozens of guns to New York City from South Carolina and selling them to an undercover officer between June 18 and October 21, 2015.  Bryant, who uses a wheelchair, brought guns from South Carolina to the Port Authority bus terminal in Manhattan. He then contacted Manswell, an Uber driver, to pick him up and drive him to meet with the undercover officer in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg and East New York neighborhoods.

Inabinet and Manswell previously pled guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced on March 15.  Bryant is scheduled to be sentenced on March 29 and Blue will be sentenced on April 5.

In October 2016, Attorney General Schneiderman released a first-of-its-kind report and interactive tool, which provided ground-breaking data and analysis of tens of thousands of “crime guns” recovered by law enforcement – demonstrating how New York’s strong gun laws are undermined by lax laws in other states, including Iron Pipeline states. The new research shows that 74 percent of all crime guns recovered by law enforcement in New York originated out-of-state. Nearly nine out of ten (86 percent) of recovered handguns came from out-of-state.

This case is being prosecuted by OCTF Assistant Deputy Attorney General Shanon Nicholas LaCorte. Deputy Attorney General Peri Alyse Kadanoff runs the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force.

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