DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — The leader of a gun trafficking ring pleaded guilty to bringing more than 110 weapons into the city on Chinatown buses, the Brooklyn District Attorney announced Wednesday.
Michael Bassier, 32, smuggled 112 weapons, including Uzis and assault rifles, into the city on buses from Atlanta and Pittsburgh from September 2014 to September 2015. Bassier is facing up to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal sale of a firearm and conspiracy.
“This defendant knew what he was doing was illegal but had no qualms about putting the lives of Brooklyn residents at risk so that he could turn a hefty profit,” Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson said in a statement. “These merchants of death willing to exploit lax gun laws outside of New York are now on notice that a prison cell awaits them in New York.”
The ring leader sold weapons to an undercover officer in Canarsie during the investigation.
He was also caught on wiretap boasting about the sales, according to the DA.
“I’m selling them the right way and the wrong way. When I’m out of state, like in Atlanta and Georgia and all that, it’s all legal, but New York, it’s completely illegal. So when I bring (expletive) up here and sell it up here, that’s illegal,” Bassier said in an intercepted phone conversation.
Two other members of the ring — Tanisha Minor, 27, of Georgia and Anthony Jackson, 30, of Crown Heights — have also pleaded guilty.
Charges are still pending against five other people involved in the smuggling operation, the DA added.
Bassier is scheduled to be sentenced in Brooklyn Supreme Court on Sept. 16.
His lawyer was not immediately available for comment.