The leader of a high-volume gun trafficking ring, Natasha Harris, has pled guilty to seventeen counts including multiple counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced.
Harris will be sentenced to 15 years in prison. Harris pled guilty to seventeen counts including multiple counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree. “Natasha Harris led a dangerous gun trafficking ring that used Chinatown buses as a method to bring guns into our communities and fuel the epidemic of gun violence,” Schneiderman said. “Today’s guilty plea sends a clear message– if you bring deadly illegal weapons into our state, we will catch you and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.”
The investigation, led by the Attorney General’s Organized Crime Task Force and the NYPD’s Firearms Investigation Unit, began in the spring of 2014. The investigation involved a high-volume gun trafficking ring that allegedly funneled firearms from Florida to New York City, often beneath Chinatown buses.
According to the 196-count felony indictment the investigative team seized more than 70 illegal guns bought at gun shows in Florida, many of which were then resold in New York for up to four times their original price.
Defendant Octavio Batista was previously sentenced to 12 years in prison. Defendant Michele Cantres was also sentenced to seven years in prison and five years post release supervision.