Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini was joined by the Suffolk County Police Department, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Riverhead Police Department and the Southampton Town Police Department to announce charges against nine individuals in connection with an illegal gun trafficking operation in Suffolk County.
The investigation also resulted in the arrest of one of the defendants for allegedly murdering a Queens man in North Bellport on June 17.
“This was an extraordinary investigation that took a lot of care, strategy and patience, and as a result we have removed a number of firearms from the streets of Suffolk County and also taken out a large gun trafficking operation,” District Attorney Sini said. “That gun trafficking operation is directly linked to gun crime on the streets of Suffolk County.”
The nine defendants are alleged to have been involved in 63 illegal gun sales on 52 different dates.
The operation was allegedly led by Yasmine White, 25, of Mastic Beach, who, along with her father, brother and other associates, has allegedly facilitated the illegal sale of firearms in Suffolk County for more than one year.
White is charged with Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree, Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. If convicted, she faces a maximum determinate sentence on the top count of five to 25 years in prison.
White was arraigned today in front of Suffolk County Court Justice Gaetan B. Lozito. Bail was set at $300,000 cash or $750,000 bond.
White’s father, Timothy White Sr., 46, of Mastic Beach, was allegedly involved in at least four illegal firearm sales. He is charged with Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Firearm in the Third Degree. White Sr. was arraigned today and bail was set at $150,000 cash or $350,000 bond.
White’s brother, Timothy White Jr., 22, of Bellport, was allegedly involved in at least 11 illegal firearm sales. He is charged with Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree, Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Firearm in the Second Degree.
As a result of the investigation, White Jr. was also charged with Murder in the Second Degree for allegedly shooting and killing James Skinner, 50, of Queens, in North Bellport on June 17.
White Jr. was arraigned today on both sets of charges. Bail was set at $350,000 cash or $700,000 bond on the firearms charges. He was remanded without bail on the murder charge.
White Sr. and White Jr. are both alleged members of the Bloods street gang.
Also arrested in connection with the operation is Jaason Hartmann, 21, of Riverhead, who is charged with Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree, Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. Hartmann was arraigned yesterday in Riverhead Town Justice Court and bail was set at $250,000 cash or $500,000 bond.
Montaigne Henderson, 25, of East Quogue, is charged with Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. Henderson was arraigned yesterday in Riverhead Town Justice Court and bail was set at $75,000 cash or $200,000 bond.
Hector Rodriguez, 44, of Farmingville, is charged with Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. Rodriguez was arraigned today and bail was set at $50,000 cash or $100,000 bond.
Additional charges in connection with the alleged gun trafficking operation will be brought against three defendants who are already in custody on unrelated charges. The defendants are Trayrone Booker, 24, of Shirley; Justin Braunskill, 31, of Mastic Beach; and Daquan Garrison, 27, of Bellport.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of 56 weapons, including 46 handguns, 2 assault weapons, and one fully-automatic 9 millimeter Norinco rifle, also known as an Uzi.
“This Uzi has a switch that allows this weapon to be turned onto automatic mode, making it fully automatic,” District Attorney Sini said. “This is a killing machine and it does not belong on the streets of Suffolk County.”
Through firearms tracing by the ATF, the weapons recovered were traced to locations of origin in 15 states, including New York.
“Most of those states are along the so-called ‘iron pipeline,’ including Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania,” District Attorney Sini said.
Nine of the weapons recovered were defaced to remove their serial numbers and make them untraceable.
Six of the weapons recovered had been reported stolen and four of the guns were determined to have been used in shootings that occurred in Suffolk County.
“This is critical: The illegal sale of guns is directly related to gun crimes,” District Attorney Sini said. “By cracking down on these illegal sales and taking these weapons off our streets, we are effectively preventing gun violence.”
“I want to thank all the members of law enforcement who participated in this operation, including the Suffolk County Police Department, the ATF, the Riverhead Police Department, the Southampton Town Police Department and the members of my office,” District Attorney Sini said. “This was a great case not just to remove guns from the streets but also to take out this operation that was arming dangerous people.”
“These arrests were the result of excellent investigative work by detectives in the Suffolk County Police Department working in collaboration with our law enforcement partners in the District Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department are committed to removing illegal firearms from our communities and will remain vigilant in our efforts to combat gun violence,” said Suffolk County Police Chief of Department Stuart Cameron.
“The defendants as alleged were part of a firearms trafficking organization that looked to put dangerous weapons out on the streets of Suffolk County. Crimes involving the trafficking and illegal possession of firearms lie at the heart of ATF’s mission to protect the public from violent crime. I would like to thank all of our law enforcement partners that worked so diligently with their ATF counterparts to disrupt and dismantle this trafficking organization so swiftly. I would also like to extend my gratitude to the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office for their work in prosecuting the case,” said Ashan M. Benedict, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF’s New York Field Division.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Shiry Gaash, of the Economic & Cyber Crime Bureau, and is being overseen by the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.