Six men who sold more than 70 weapons to undercover detectives in the same New York City area where a policeman was fatally shot last week have been arrested and indicted on conspiracy and gun charges, authorities announced Tuesday.
Most of the 74 weapons — from handguns to an assault rifle — were loaded when sold to undercovers in and around the Harlem area, including two near where Officer Randolph Holder was shot in the head on Oct. 20, officials said.
“We are having this conversation against a very, very painful backdrop,” Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. “What adds to the pain of that loss is that these guns are so available and that it is a national problem.”
Tyrone Howard, 30, who was indicted for killing Harold, had been free on bail but wanted for skipping court, after a judge referred him to a diversion program instead of prison.
That same judge, Edward McLaughlin, was to hear the arraignments of the men indicted in the gun sting announced Tuesday.
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said his confidence in McLaughlin’s decision-making wasn’t shaken.
McLaughlin is “as concerned about public safety in the city of New York as any judge I’ve seen,” Vance said.