(NEW YORK) – As police across the country grapple with illegal guns on the streets of America, a growing number of these guns are said to be “ghost guns,” guns that have never been used. no serial number or other traceable components.
Federal prosecutors in New York City on Thursday indicted a Rhode Island man who they said smuggled dozens of phantom weapons to the Bronx and the Dominican Republic.
Robert Alcantara has been involved in the sale or attempted sale of what appear to be over 100 firearms, primarily “ghost” handguns which he purchased in incomplete form and then completed at a workstation at He, Kiran Mathew, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said in a sworn complaint.
Alcantara is charged with conspiracy to traffic in firearms and making false statements about it when questioned by the ATF.
Alcantara has shown his skill at making phantom weapons in a video the complaint said posted to YouTube in 2019
The Justice Department reported last year that between 2016 and 2020, more than 23,000 guns without serial numbers were recovered by law enforcement from potential crime scenes, including scenes related to 325 homicides or attempted homicides.
An intelligence bulletin released last year and obtained by ABC News said violent criminals and domestic extremists “are likely to support the use of (‘ghost weapons’) in deadly attacks based on scrutiny recent incidents and investigations and challenges in tracking non-serialized firearm components. “
Alcantara aided proliferation by assembling these weapons in a home workshop using components he purchased at gun shows, according to the complaint.
He was arrested Thursday morning in Rhode Island and appeared in Providence court for the first time.
It was not immediately clear whether Alcantara had an attorney.
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