Two men sentenced for illegally selling firearms in Morrisania

Bronx Criminal Court is seen on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023.
Bronx Criminal Court as seen on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023.
Photo Camille Botello

The Bronx District Attorney’s office announced last week that two men have been sentenced for their roles in illegally selling firearms to an undercover NYPD officer. 

Dereck Velasquez, 30, was sentenced on Friday to 11 years in prison and five years post-release supervision after pleading guilty to first-degree criminal sale of a firearm and fourth-degree conspiracy on Jan. 31. 

Velasquez joins 16-year-old Eric Colvin, who was sentenced to nine years in prison with five years post-release supervision on Jan. 23 after pleading guilty to second-degree criminal sale of a firearm on Jan. 6 of this year. 

In the announcement, Bronx DA Darcel Clark stressed the importance of taking illegal guns out of neighborhoods. 

The community is safer thanks to the undercover officer who stopped the recycling of these weapons,” she said. “Two of the recovered guns had been used in shootings in the Bronx and Manhattan. Getting these guns, which were sold in broad daylight, off our streets is a huge feat and sending the gun sellers to prison sends the right message that gun violence has to stop.” 

Investigators traced two of the firearms back to shootings in Manhattan and the Bronx through ballistics evidence found at the respective crime scenes, the DA’s office said.

Velasquez admitted to selling at least 10 guns to an undercover officer between Sept. 28, 2021 and Feb. 1, 2022, according to the DA’s office. Similarly, Colvin admitted to selling at least five guns to an officer between Oct. 28, 2021 and Feb. 1, 2022. 

Most of the firearms were sold in the Bronx on Tinton Avenue, East 163rd Street and elsewhere near the Forest Houses in Morrisania. According to the DA’s investigation, both defendants were “high-ranking memoirs of the Forest Over Everything crew, affiliated with the Bloods.” 

Some of the illegal weapons sold included ghost guns and assault rifles.

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