Skip to main content
Press Release

Felon Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Trafficking Firearms and Narcotics in Brooklyn

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Responsible for Sale of At Least 17 Firearms, Including Semi-Automatic Assault Rifles, to an Undercover NYPD Officer Around Prospect Park South

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, United States District Judge LaShann DeArcy Hall sentenced Ronald Delaespada to 10 years in prison for his role in a firearms trafficking scheme and for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine.  Delaespada pleaded guilty to the charges in February 2023.

Delaespada’s co-defendant Rayon Lovett pleaded guilty to firearms trafficking charges in February 2023 and was sentenced to 85 months’ imprisonment in October 2023. Delaespada’s co-defendant and brother Owen Welch pleaded guilty to firearms trafficking charges in July 2023 and is currently awaiting sentencing. 

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Bryan DiGirolamo, Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, New York (ATF), and Edward A. Caban, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the sentence.

“Delaespada is a career criminal who sold illegal guns, including an assault-type rifle, near a school, a church and on bustling streets in the heart of Brooklyn, without regard for how these lethal weapons could be used,” stated United States Attorney Peace.  “Today’s sentence will keep the defendant off the street for years, a punishment he deserves for his blatant disrespect for the law and his dangerous conduct.  I commend the brave NYPD undercover officer, along with the Special Agents of ATF, whose excellent work kept 17 lethal weapons off the streets of our community.”

“While communities across this country are coming together in grief because of the devastation of gun violence — some people are unlawfully selling firearms to others with blatant disregard for the impact on the lives of others. ATF will continue to do all we can to reduce gun violence by stopping the traffickers who flood our communities with illegal firearms. Crime gun intelligence enhances our ability to identify both amateur and prolific traffickers,” stated ATF Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge DiGirolamo.  “Every crime gun off the streets is a potential life saved.  Excellent work by the men and women of ATF NY Joint Firearms Task Force, our partners at NYPD and EDNY.”

“This kind of meaningful prison sentence shows our courageous police officers that New Yorkers will not tolerate such lawless behavior in our neighborhoods,” stated NYPD Commissioner Caban.  “I commend our dedicated undercover officer, and I thank our colleagues at the ATF and the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York for continuing to be highly effective partners in our public safety mission.”