FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 15, 2016
Final Defendant in Georgia Gun Trafficking Ring Sentenced to 10 Years
In Prison for Buying and Selling Guns Destined for the Streets of Brooklyn
Total of 151 Weapons, Including Rifle and Semi-Automatic Pistols,
Purchased During Undercover Operation
Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson today announced that a Georgia man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for trafficking firearms from Georgia to Brooklyn up Interstate 95, commonly referred to as the “Iron Pipeline.” His five co-defendants, including his nephew, Michael Quick, the ring’s mastermind, were previously convicted and sentenced.
District Attorney Thompson said, “This defendant and his cohorts tried to make some easy money by flooding our streets with weapons of death and putting lives at risk. They have now been brought to justice here in Brooklyn. This case should serve as a warning to out-of-state gun traffickers that we will continue to go after them and hold them accountable no matter where they live.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Rodney Brewer, 49, of LaGrange, Georgia. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun to 10 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision, following his guilty plea on June 10, 2016 to one count of first-degree criminal sale of a firearm, one count of first-degree criminal possession of a weapon and one count of fourth-degree conspiracy.
The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, between September 2013 and April 2014, Quick, who was sometimes accompanied by Brewer, made 13 car trips from Georgia to Canarsie, Brooklyn, up the I-95 corridor, transporting as many as 25 firearms at a time, and sold them to an undercover NYPD officer at the corner of Foster Avenue and East 96th Street. Brewer was also responsible for purchasing guns in Georgia for transport to New York, where they were sold at a huge profit margin, e.g., a .9 mm gun bought in Georgia for $200 sold in Brooklyn for $1,000.
During the course of the investigation 151 weapons were trafficked from Georgia to New York, including an AR-15 assault rifle, MAC-11 subcompact machine pistol, two TEC-9 semiautomatic pistols and a variety of pistols and revolvers, many of which were loaded. Some of the firearms were purchased in stores and others were stolen, the investigation found. Wiretaps revealed that the defendants communicated about purchasing guns that are easily concealed; the logistics of transporting them; price negotiations with Georgia suppliers; and wiring money from New York to Georgia to facilitate the initial gun purchases.
Following are the dispositions of Brewer’s five co-defendants:
- Michael Quick, 34, of LaGrange, Georgia. Pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal sale of a firearm and first-degree criminal possession of a weapon and was sentenced to 18 years in prison and five years’ post-release supervision.
- Aliya Dowell, 34, of LaGrange, Georgia. Pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy and was sentenced to five years’ probation. She is the wife of defendant Quick.
- Emmanuel Caswell, 38, of Decatur, Georgia. Pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy and was sentenced to one-year in jail.
- Marcus White, 32, of Decatur, Georgia. Pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy and was sentenced to one-year in jail.
- Albert Pless, 59, of Franklin, Georgia. Pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy and was sentenced to one-year in jail.
The case was investigated by New York City Police Department Detective John Edgar of the NYPD’s Firearms Investigations Unit, under the supervision of Captain Robert Van Houten, Lieutenant Michael Jennings and Sergeant Donald Morgan.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Matthew Bennett of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau and Assistant District Attorney Tara Lenich, Deputy Bureau Chief, under the supervision of Nicole Chavis, Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney William E. Schaeffer, Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.