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2 Syracuse residents charged for gun trafficking, 16 of 52 guns recovered

Police Chief Joe Cecile speaks during a May 3, 2023 press conference about illegally trafficked guns.
Ellen Abbott
Police Chief Joe Cecile speaks during a May 3, 2023 press conference about illegally trafficked guns.

Syracuse police, along with federal officials, have cracked an alleged gun trafficking scheme that brought illegal handguns from Macon, Georgia, to central New York.

Law enforcement officials said two Syracuse residents got orders for guns and bought them from a former Syracuse resident in Georgia, then brought them up to central New York and sold them illegally. Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick called it “Grubhub for guns."

"A flowing river of death and destruction has been dammed by the investigation," Fitzpatrick said.

Two Syracuse residents are accused of several gun trafficking charges, and are being held in the Onondaga County Justice Center on $1 million bail. A third person, who is currently in Georgia, has yet to be charged.

Of the 52 guns brought from Georgia to be sold illegally in New York, 16 have been recovered so far, according to Police Chief Joe Cecile.

"One was used in a murder-suicide," Cecile said. "Three are multi-use firearms, which means a gun was used in multiple gun violence crimes. There were also several handguns that have been recovered in the possession of documented gang members."

For Mayor Ben Walsh, the most infuriating thing is there are still 36 guns unaccounted for.

"They’re likely on the streets of Syracuse right now and will likely be used in future crimes and homicides," Walsh said. "The impact of the crimes that the individuals charged today participated in it will ripple for many years to come."

Police say more than 90% of guns recovered in the city of Syracuse, come from states with lax gun control laws.

“These individuals knowingly trafficked guns from Georgia, where they’re easy to buy, into Syracuse and put them in the hands of people that pulled the trigger and took people’s lives," Walsh said. "They may have not pulled the trigger, but make no mistake, there is blood on their hands.”

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.