South Carolina Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison For Trafficking 40 Firearms for Sale in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


South Carolina Man Sentenced to 12 Years in Prison
For Trafficking 40 Firearms for Sale in Brooklyn and Manhattan

Made the Sales on 19 Occasions; Investigation Exposed Other Criminal Operations

Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 28-year-old man from South Carolina was sentenced to 12 years in prison for transporting 40 firearms from his home state for sale on the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan. The investigation into this defendant exposed other interconnected criminal schemes involving alleged gang members and their associates.

Acting District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant took advantage of lax gun laws in his home state to bring dangerous weapons into Brooklyn streets. The firearms he sold would have undoubtedly caused violence in our communities, but they were intercepted thanks to this investigation by the NYPD and my Office. The defendant will now spend more than a decade in prison for his decision to endanger lives in order to make a buck.”

The Acting District Attorney identified the defendant as Colin (“Rum”) Toney, 28, of Lamar, SC. He was sentenced today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun to 12 years in prison following his guilty plea earlier this month to first-degree criminal sale of a firearm.

The defendant was the target of an investigation that revealed that between June 2015 and September 2016, on 19 occasions, he sold a total of 40 guns that were purchased in his home state to an undercover New York City Police Department detective in Brooklyn and Manhattan, according to the indictment. On seven of these occasions, the defendant was accompanied by his girlfriend, Dedra Shantel Wheeler, 22, of South Carolina, who, at times, allegedly conducted the transactions with the undercover. On four occasions, Toney was joined by Donte Smith, 25, also of South Carolina.

Smith had previously pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal sale of a firearm and was sentenced to five years in prison. Wheeler’s case is still pending.

During the course of the investigation, detectives learned of Toney’s past affiliation with a set of the Bloods gang based in New York City and started to monitor communications of two alleged gang leaders. Through them, the investigation exposed an alleged bank larceny operation as well as two weapon possession incidents. That part of the investigation led to charges against 16 additional individuals.

The case was investigated by Detective Brian McSweeney, with the assistance of Detective Frank Kolanovic of the New York City Police Department’s Firearms Investigations Unit, under the supervision of Sergeant Donald Morgan, Sergeant Alex Lago, Lieutenant Michael Jennings, Captain Jonathan Korabel, Deputy Inspector Brian Gill and Captain Jonathan Korabel, Commanding Officer of Firearms Investigation Unit, and the overall supervision of Inspector Richard Green and Assistant Chief James Essig of the Gun Violence Suppression Division.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Owen Sucoff of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney James Slattery, also of VCE, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Jonathan R. Sennett, Deputy Chief of VCE, and Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, VCE Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division.