A Brownsville man was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Wednesday for his participation in a gun trafficking ring that brought several illegal firearms from South Carolina and Virginia to be sold in Brooklyn, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced.
The defendant, 50-year-old Montoun Hart, carried out a total of 27 controlled gun transactions with undercover officers, selling a total of 44, according to Gonzalez’s office.
During the investigation, which spanned from October 2019 to October 2020, numerous firearms were recovered, including two assault weapons: a German Sports Gun rifle and a Smith & Wesson semi-automatic pistol.
“This defendant trafficked dozens of dangerous weapons to sell on Brooklyn streets where they would have undoubtedly contributed to violence. Thankfully, they were intercepted due to the hard work of the NYPD and my prosecutors,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “This investigation highlights our commitment to ending gun violence in our communities and punishing those responsible for the proliferation of illegal firearms.”
Evidence from the investigation discovered Hart had three different suppliers who operated separately but had similar practices. Once a dealer procured the weapons, they would share the make, model and price over the phone and sometimes send a photo of it. Hart would then pass on the details of the guns to his customers to proceed with the sale.
Three other defendants have been connected to the gun trafficking circle, including 51 year-old Vernal Douglas from Flatlands who was sentenced in August to five years in prison. He was employed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as a subway conductor at the time of the alleged crimes. According to court records, Douglas obtained the weapons while in South Carolina where he had an address and asked supplies to send them through the mail.
Fellow defendant, 44-year old Ira Jones of Boston, pleaded guilty on August 15 to third-degree criminal sale of a firearm and is expected to be sentenced on Sept. 16. Christopher Hodges, 34 and form South Carolina, was similarly charged with first-degree criminal sale of a firearm. His case is pending, and his next court appearance is Sept. 23.
Jones and Hodges allegedly traveled up to New York to deliver the contraband to Hart, according to Gonzalez.
Hart was sentenced by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice, following his guilty plea in July to first-degree criminal sale of a firearm.