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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, February 17, 2022

Man Charged With Illegally Possessing “Ghost” Gun And Multiple Other Guns In Bronx Apartment

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Michael J. Driscoll, the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Keechant L. Sewell, the Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”), announced the unsealing today of a three-count Indictment charging ERIC LESANE with firearms and drug trafficking offenses.  LESANE was initially charged by Complaint after his arrest on February 1, 2022.  LESANE’s case has been assigned to the Honorable U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan.

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said: “As alleged, the defendant illegally possessed multiple guns, including an untraceable ‘ghost’ gun.  Illegally possessed and untraceable guns pose a serious public safety threat.  Thanks to our law enforcement partners, the defendant’s weapons are now in safe hands.”

Michael J. Driscoll, FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge said: “Mr. Lesane was aware of the conditions attached to his release from prison – he was not allowed to purchase or maintain a firearm.  We allege he possessed several, one of which was an untraceable ghost gun - a class of weapon that poses an increasing threat to our communities. Our goal is to work with our law enforcement partners to get criminals and their weapons off our streets.”

NYPD Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said: “Convicted previously in a firearms possession case, Eric Lesane now faces federal indictment for allegedly amassing a stockpile of weapons — including an untraceable ghost gun — while on supervised release. Our NYPD investigators, working with our partners and prosecutors in the United States Attorney’s Office, will never stop pursuing these kinds of cases in our continuing effort to eradicate gun violence in New York.”

Michael Fitzpatrick, Chief U.S. Probation Officer said: “On February 1, Probation Officers from the Southern District of New York performed a search of Eric Lesane’s address. These officers seized several firearms and a large amount of ammunition.  This search exemplifies the importance of communication between law enforcement agencies.”

According to the allegations in the Indictment unsealed today in Manhattan federal court and in the Complaint and statements made in open Court: 

On February 1, 2022, the United States Marshals Service arrested LESANE, who was previously convicted of a felony related to illegal firearms possession, after an arrest warrant issued for violations of supervised release.  Following LESANE’s arrest, Probation Officers from the United States Probation Office for the Southern District of New York conducted a search of LESANE’s apartment.  In the course of the search, Probation Officers found:

(1) a Ruger Precision Rifle,

(2) a Mossberg Rifle,

(3) a SWD Model M-11 9mm pistol,

(4) a Typhoon 12 Gauge Semiautomatic Shotgun, and

(5) a black pf940c polymer 80 privately made handgun with no serial number—in other words, a “ghost” gun. 

A photograph of the guns is below:

1

In the course of the search, Probation Officers also recovered multiple high-capacity magazines each containing more than 15 rounds of ammunition, approximately 75 buckshot shotgun shells, additional ammunition, and a quantity of marijuana. 

Probation Officers also found large amounts of paraphernalia that appears to be associated with the “Crips” street gang, including blue clothing and signs, literature that discusses the Crips, and a black and blue baseball bat with a black and blue bandana tied around it, wrapped in barbed wire.

*                *                *

LESANE, 34, of the Bronx, New York, is charged with: (1) possession of firearms following a felony conviction, which carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, (2) marijuana trafficking, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and (3) possessing firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, which carries a mandatory minimum sentence of five years in prison, to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed, and a maximum sentence of life in prison.  The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Williams praised the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and the NYPD.  Mr. Williams also thanked the United States Probation Office for the Southern District of New York, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the United States Marshals Service for their assistance in this case.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s Violent & Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorney Elizabeth A. Espinosa is in charge of the prosecution. 

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Topic(s): 
Firearms Offenses
Contact: 
Nicholas Biase (212) 637-2600
Press Release Number: 
22-051
Updated February 17, 2022