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Press Release

Man Sentenced In Manhattan Federal Court To More Than 13 Years In Prison For Illegally Trafficking Assault Rifles And Other Firearms, As Well As Narcotics

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of New York

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that ARIEL ACOSTA, a/k/a “A-Loc,” a/k/a “Blue,” a/k/a “True Blue,” was sentenced today to 160 months in prison for firearms and narcotics trafficking.  ACOSTA and his co-conspirators sold seven guns, including an AK-47 assault rifle and a SKS assault rifle, a silencer, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest to undercover officers.  ACOSTA pled guilty in Manhattan federal court in April 2018 to one count of conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and one count of unlicensed firearms dealing.  United States District Judge Kimba M. Wood imposed today’s sentence.

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman said:  “Ariel Acosta sought to put illegal guns and drugs on the streets of New York City.  For his crimes he will serve over 13 years in prison.  We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those who would put the people of our city in danger.”

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment and statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

From at least 2016 to August 2017, ACOSTA and other members of a drug trafficking organization sold narcotics near Hughes Avenue and East Tremont Avenue in the Bronx, New York (the “Hughes Avenue DTO”).  ACOSTA personally sold crack cocaine to undercover officers on several occasions.  Members of the Hughes Avenue DTO are also members and associates of the “Rolling 30s” neighborhood set of the nationwide Crips street gang.    

From about October 2016 to May 2017, ACOSTA and two other men, who were both members of the Hughes Avenue DTO, sold firearms to undercover officers.  Over the course of six sales, undercover officers purchased seven firearms, including an AK-47 assault rifle, a SKS assault rifle, a shotgun, and several handguns.  One of the firearms ACOSTA sold had a defaced serial number.  ACOSTA and his co-conspirators also sold a silencer for a gun, ammunition, and a bulletproof vest to the undercover officers. 

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In addition to the prison term, ACOSTA, 24, of the Bronx, New York, was sentenced to four years of supervised release.  Of the nine members of the Hughes Avenue Crew charged in this case, eight have pled guilty.  Charges against one defendant are currently pending before United States District Judge Victor Marerro.               

Mr. Berman praised the work of the New York City Police Department and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in this investigation. 

The case is being handled by the Office’s Violent and Organized Crime Unit.  Assistant United States Attorneys Drew Skinner and Anden Chow are in charge of the prosecution.

Updated November 13, 2018

Drug Trafficking
Violent Crime
Press Release Number: 18-398