Federal prosecutors from the Eastern District of New York arrested and charged 10 men from Brooklyn with gun possession of a firearm over a 48-hour span earlier this month. Each of the 10 men had been previously convicted of a felony.
“The one tried-and-true way to reduce the rapid spike in gun violence we’ve experienced in Brooklyn this summer is to take the guns out of the hands of repeat offenders and take those offenders off of our streets,” said acting U.S. Attorney Seth DuCharme.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, shooting incidents have gone up, along with murders. According to NYPD statistics, as of Aug. 2, there were 343 shooting incidents and 92 murders in Brooklyn compared to 170 shooting incidents and 58 murders at the same point last year.DAILY TOP BROOKLYN NEWSNews for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond
The ten men who were arrested between Aug. 6 and Aug 8 included DaShawn Andrews, age 29; Paolo Alfaro Barber, 29; Terrence Brown, 24; Jahquel Giddeon; 20, Macye McCall, 27; Tony McQueen, 32; Avery Millington, 25; Keenen Nurse, 29; Marvin Pickett, 38; and Aaron Swaby, 27.
Pickett was allegedly driving while intoxicated when he crashed into a Citi Bike stand on Nassau Street and Navy Street and cops found a pistol on him. McQueen was arrested after he was found passed out behind the wheel of a car at the intersection of Atlantic Avenue and Boyland Street with a loaded pistol. A third man, Swaby, was in a vehicle pulled over for a traffic infraction on Surf Avenue.
Two of the men were arrested after they were in cars driving the wrong way down a street — McCall was the passenger in a Range Rover going the wrong way down Sutter Avenue, and Millington was driving a Hyundai the wrong way down Bristol Street near Newport Avenue.
Barber was arrested the same day in front of 2501 Newkirk Ave. after officers claimed to have observed an L-shaped bulge in a bag. Two of the men were arrested after a search of their homes by New York State Parole Officers.
A total of 417 people have been shot in Brooklyn so far in 2020, according to NYPD statistics, including a 1-year-old boy, Davell Gardner, who was killed by a stray bullet while at a barbecue near Raymond Bush Playground in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Sunday, July 12.
During multiple public appearances in July, Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the court system being closed as a factor in the rise in crime. However, the legal community has pushed back against this idea; the Legal Society pointed out that 19,000 arraignments have occurred virtually. Lawyers have said that de Blasio simply doesn’t understand the way the court system works.
“Violent criminals aren’t shooting people by the dozens every week now because they think the courts are closed,” said defense attorney Michael Farkas. “The courts aren’t closed. Every person arrested for a real crime is being arraigned and prosecuted. People are getting shot in droves because this is the kind of city that the mayor’s inept leadership has wrought.”
The defendants in these 10 cases each face up to 10 years in prison if convicted at trial.