Six Defendants Indicted on Federal Firearms Charges as Part of Intensified Focus on Gun Crimes
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon and ATF Special Agent in Charge John B. DeVito announced that the following defendants have been indicted within the last week for illegally possessing firearms as felons:
- Macquawn E. Surgick, age 25, of Albany. The case is being investigated by the Albany Police Department, Albany County Sheriff’s Office and ATF.
- Marchane Turner, age 33, of Schenectady, New York. The case is being investigated by the Schenectady Police Department and ATF.
- Nicholas Cole, age 35, formerly of Clifton Park, New York. The case is being investigated by the Albany Police Department, the United States Marshals Service, and ATF.
- Adgun J. Honore, age 29, of Allentown, Pennsylvania. The case is being investigated by the New York State Police and ATF.
- Sassone Watson, age 41, of Troy, New York. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
- Michael Darling, age 42, of Gloversville, New York, was indicted for unlawfully possessing firearms and ammunition as a felon, and for unlawfully possessing 6 pipe bombs. The case is being investigated by the Gloversville Police Department, the New York State Police, ATF, and the FBI.
These are separate cases. The charges in the indictments are merely accusations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Robert A. Sharpe.
Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon stated: “These cases, and many others under investigation, reflect our ongoing efforts to take as many illegal guns off the streets as possible, and to prosecute those who illegally possess and use these guns. With our law enforcement partners, we are directing greater resources to prosecuting gun crimes as part of an all-hands approach to address rising violence in many of our cities. Families and neighborhoods should not have to suffer another summer of increased shootings and tragedy. We will continue working to make safer communities for all by holding offenders accountable and by engaging in community-based efforts for violence reduction.”
John B. DeVito, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), stated: “ATF New York’s highest priority is reducing violent crime. Through collaboration with our local, state and federal partners, and the use of unique investigative tools such as the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network (NIBIN), we are fully committed to an intelligence-driven approach to disrupt and dismantle the firearms trafficking organizations and networks responsible for supplying prohibited persons and violent offenders with the crime guns plaguing our communities.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is undertaking efforts in the following areas, among others, to address the rise in shootings:
- The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to prioritize the prosecutions of felons who possess firearms and ammunition, offenders who illegally possess firearms and ammunition while subject to court-issued protective orders, as well as gang members and drug dealers who illegally possess firearms. These efforts incorporate Attorney General Garland’s May 26 announcement of a renewed and coordinated Department of Justice effort to disrupt the most dangerous criminals in our communities, and are supported by Department programs Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian.
- Criminals committing gun crimes will be the subject of consultation with federal, state, and local law enforcement partners at regular meetings in Albany and Syracuse. These collaborations carefully analyze recent shootings, gun possession crimes, and regional crime data to prioritize investigative resources toward the worst offenders, criminal groups, hotspots, and neighborhoods experiencing increased rates of gun crime.
- The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to participate in programs, activities, and events aimed at crime prevention and reduction, and at fostering relationships with communities and neighborhoods most affected by violent crime and gun violence.
- The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue its participation in federal Intensive Reentry Court and regular meetings with formerly incarcerated individuals who are returning to their communities after being granted parole or finishing their state terms of imprisonment.
Citizen tips can help get illegal guns off the streets, and can be provided as follows:
- Syracuse Police Department – tips can be made anonymously via the tip411 web site, or by calling (315) 442-5111.
- Capital Region Crime Stoppers – tips can be made anonymously by visiting http://www.capitalregioncrimestoppers.com.
This initiative is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.