By Kiely Westhoff, CNN
A Bronx man is facing more than 300 counts of gun-related charges after allegedly selling more than 70 weapons and high-capacity magazines to an undercover New York Police Department officer, the Bronx District Attorney announced Wednesday.
Shakor Rodriguez, 23, is charged with 304 counts, including the criminal sale and possession of a firearm and criminal possession of a weapon, according to two indictments filed in the Bronx Supreme Court. He was arraigned on both indictments and pleaded not guilty to 225 counts. His attorney had no comment.
The charges come the same week New York Mayor Eric Adams announced his “Blueprint to End Gun Violence” as part of a citywide effort to combat increased violent crime. Adams cited gun trafficking as a significant part of the problem, calling for state and federal governments to raise the penalty it.
Authorities in nine Northeastern states also are poised to cooperate to pinpoint the origin of illegal guns and stop them from entering New York, Gov. Kathy Hochul said Wednesday, calling gun violence “a national crisis.”
Rodriguez was attending Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tennessee, while allegedly smuggling illegal weapons to the Bronx and Manhattan, according to the DA.
Rodriguez allegedly sold an undercover NYPD officer 73 firearms, 59 of which were loaded, and more than 40 high-capacity magazines, according to the district attorney, who noted the officer typically paid between $1,000 and $1,500 per gun.
“The defendant allegedly brought these semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines up from the south, sometimes transporting them in a duffle bag by bus. Dozens of the firearms were loaded and four are considered assault weapons. The NYPD worked diligently to intercept these deadly weapons before they hit our streets,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement.
“Bronxites are dying from gunfire and we cannot tolerate one more illegal gun in our community,” Clark said.
There has been an 80% increase in firearm homicides in New York state since 2019, and 75% of the guns used in those homicides came from out of state, Hochul said Wednesday.
New York’s new Interstate Task Force on Illegal Guns will bring together authorities from nine states in its region to identify where illegal guns are originating, figure out where they are headed and stop them from entering New York, the governor said.
The NYPD Firearms Investigations Unit and the Bronx District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau conducted a joint investigation between July 2020 and December 2021, which ultimately led to Rodriguez’s arrest, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Rodriguez is expected back in court Monday.
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.