BROOKLYN — What is this, the Civil War?
Local and federal law enforcement officials busted seven Brooklyn motorcycle gang members Tuesday for trafficking heavy-duty weaponry including AK-47 assault rifles and numerous handguns as well as stashing a massive .50 caliber cannon at their headquarters.
The arrests were the culmination of a two-year investigation by the NYPD and federal agents into the Forbidden Ones, the Dirty Ones and the Trouble Makers.
During the probe, the suspects were allegedly caught selling 41 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition on video and audio tape.
In one such encounter, an undercover officer along with a confidential informant drove to the Far Rockaway home of Forbidden Ones gangster Jose “Rusty” Perez to buy a .762 Yugoslavia model assault rifle with 36 rounds of ammunition for $1,000, according to the Department of Justice.
Law enforcement raided several locations associated with the groups and turned up an additional 20 firearms, various narcotics, and even several improvised explosive devices from a home that doubled as a daycare center.
But the most shocking piece of firepower was found at the group's headquarters at 15 Thames St. in Bushwick, officials said.
Members of the Forbidden Ones pointed an operational cannon at the door to ensure no one interrupted their private meetings, according to the Department of Justice.
Each of the defendants—with aliases like “Rusty,” “Afro,” and “Spider”—was a “1 percent patched” member, signifying that they disregarded law-abiding society, officials said. Four members of the Forbidden Ones wore a “bangout patch,” depicting two crossed handguns, that signified they had assaulted or otherwise engaged law enforcement at least once.
“These defendants carried out their firearms dealing with no regard for the law or the safety of others,” U.S. Attorney Loretta E. Lynch wrote in a statement. “Violent biker gangs are not outside the reach of the law — no matter how many patches or tattoos they wear.”
Each of the suspects faces up to five years in prison if convicted.