Ah, the gig economy. You can be individual entrepreneurs, arbitraging firearms between South Carolina (where they’re mostly legal) and NYFC (where they’re mostly outlawed), and delivering them via Uber to customers.
But one thing that predates the gig economy: when you’re selling illegal stuff, one of your customers just might be an undercover cop.
And another thing that was here before the gig economy and will continue long after: the government doesn’t care how it spends its money or whether it’s achieving its ostensible ends. While a few gun sales would have been enough to bust these guys, the cop kept buying and buying and buying, ultimately paying them over $100,000 for over 100 guns. The profits they made from running guns to the NYPD were, in part, plowed back into running more guns to more criminals in New York, so NYPD was in effect financing criminals’ ability to gun up in their own five boroughs.
Who do they think they are, the ATF? Nobody’s supposed to do gunwalking, but if you have to pick an all time champion gunwalker, it’s hard to compete with ATF. They’ve set the all-time record. We hope.
Anyway, on to these low-rent Merchants of Death, NYC streetcrime variety:
Shavar Stuckey, 31, and Levon Jackson, 30, who are half-brothers, are both facing a 203-count indictment that includes charges of fourth-degree conspiracy and first, second and third-degree criminal weapons sales, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Is anybody ever more than a half-sibling, in the ghetto? Asking for a friend.
It’s just amazing that these guys’ various baby-daddies didn’t bring ’em up right, isn’t it?
Devon Heatley, 32, and South Carolina residents Troy Allen, 32, Shakial Shephard, 22, and Liq’uel Robinson, 19, are also facing multiple charges for allegedly supplying the firearms for Stuckey and Jackson to sell, said the DA’s office.
The South Carolina men and Heatley would purchase the guns from firearms retailers in the South then bring them to New York City by buses they would take to Chinatown, according to the indictment Stuckey and Jackson would then bring them up to Harlem and the Bronx in cabs and Ubers.
B-b-b-but, Uber bans guns. An Uber vehicle is a gun-free-zone. Unpossible!
Then again, come to think of it, NYFC is a gun-free-zone, but no one seems to have told the guns, especially the ones that are leaping into diverse young hands and urging them to acts of mayhem.
“The South Carolina residents would allegedly transport the guns to Stuckey and Jackson usually via the Chinatown bus lines and in doing so endangering the passengers, the drivers and the residents in Chinatown alike,” said Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance. “After they arrived in Lower Manhattan, it’s alleged they would hail an Uber or take a subway uptown to Stuckey and Jackson.”
A backpack or briefcase full of guns is actually as inert as a bag of hammers, unless a human opens it up and actuates the firearm. So who’s endangered… and who’s grandstanding? Wait… Cyrus Vance… where have we seen that name before? Why, this CV’s dad was the Cyrus Vance who led the Carter Administration to foreign policy victories like the Iranian Islamic Revolution, and the narco-state of Panama. And the incompetent Secretary of State’s dad was the Cyrus Vance who was one of Roosevelt’s (F.D.’s) New Deal technocrats.
Between December of 2015 and March of this year, the pair sold the undercover officer 105 guns – including 75 semi-automatic pistols, 21 revolvers, 5 assault rifles, and 4 shotguns. Most of these sales took place in the detective’s car. The officer paid between $800 and $2,000 for each gun.
“I don’t know what you can say except its incredible that you can find these,” Vance said.
Actually, in the free world they’re common as the above-mentioned hammers. It’s incredible that one could be a law-enforcement official and not know that, but then again, we’re talking about a guy bred to socialism for at least three generations, and whose genes descend from the sort of intellect that thought the US’s best policy move was to encourage Khomeini to take over Iran. It’s a wonder he can use the restroom without a respite care worker.
But hey, all the guns came from gun stores out of state, right?
Of the 105 guns, 20 were reported stolen, Vance said.
No kidding. From whom? That’s not clear. Bet more than one is an NYPD heater.
Incidentally, what state provides the most guns traced by ATF in New York? (.pdf) If you guessed SC, or FL, or TX, go soak your head. The right answer is New York, for the last data available (2015), 1,350 of 4,863 total traces (27.8%). South Carolina? 266 (5.5%)
New York State crime is almost entirely urban, and mostly New York City crime. 3,621 of those traces were initiated in New York City. Three-quarters. (Okay, only 74.5%, we rounded up).
While the national average time-to-crime (really, time-to-recovery) of traced firearms was 10.48 years, New York’s was 3 1/2 years higher, 14.11 years. Straw-purchased firearms like the ones discussed in the article would have been traced much less than one year after leaving the retailer.
New York State is 100% effective in hassling peaceable gun owners, but all its gun control laws produce nil effect on local crime. This is predictable by the laws of economics, specifically, how market equilibrium results from natural responses to changes in supply and demand as signaled by price.
A shortage of any good produces rising prices, which stimulates importation, manufacture (including diversion or clandestine manufacture, if legal manufacture for the market is closed off), and substitution, until the market’s equilibrium is restored at the point where the demand curve (which goes down or is “negatively sloped” on a quantity/price graph) intersects the supply curve (which goes up or is “positively sloped” with the graph). In other words, all demands are ultimately met.