Two Bronx men have been indicted for their role in the city’s rise in gun proliferation for allegedly selling 33 firearms — two of which had been used in prior shootings in NYC — to undercover officers over a four-month period, the Bronx District Attorney’s office announced on Thursday.
According to the district attorney’s office, defendants Dereck Velasquez, 29, known as “Chop,” and Eric Colvin, 26, both of the Bronx, were indicted on 242 counts, including sale and possession of firearms and controlled substances, and are due back in court on March 29.
The four-month investigation dubbed “Operation Chopping Block” was conducted by a host of citywide criminal agencies, and
the defendants — who are allegedly high-ranking members of the Blood-affiliated Forest Over Everything crew — allegedly sold 25 semi-automatic pistols, five revolvers and three assault weapons, as well as 15 large capacity ammunition feeding devices,
and approximately 80 grams of cocaine to undercover officers for a total of $63,460, between Sept. 28, 2021, and Feb. 1, 2022.
Operation Chopping Block: Two alleged gang members indicted for selling 33 firearms to undercover officer. Joint investigation by @NYPDnews, @DEANEWYORKDiv, @HSINewYork and Bronx DA’s Office. https://t.co/QXVZOySZDS pic.twitter.com/djAW5UxoVj
— Bronx DA Darcel D. Clark (@BronxDAClark) March 24, 2022
According to investigators, the defendants sold most of the weapons in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, on Jackson Avenue, East 163rd Street and other streets near the Forest Houses.
A few transactions took place in Harlem and guns were transferred in broad daylight such as one incident where weapons were held in a laundry bag and pushed in a cart by the seller who then dumped them into the undercover officer’s vehicle.
Operation Chopping Block is another citywide effort to track down the source of the city’s gun proliferation of assault rifles and Ghost Guns, unserialized and untraceable firearms that can be bought online and assembled at home.
“All but a handful of these guys have been here for some time; at least two of the guns have been connected to shootings in the Bronx and Manhattan,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. “While we focus on the Iron Pipeline bringing new guns from out of state, this is a case of stopping criminals from recycling weapons that are destroying our communities. I thank the courageous undercover officer for helping to make the Bronx safer.”
Reach Robbie Sequeira at firstname.lastname@example.org or (718) 260-4599. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.