Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy D. Sini and the New York City Police Department (“NYPD”) have announced the arrest of a Crips gang member for the alleged illegal possession of a “ghost gun.”
“Thanks to excellent police work by the NYPD in collaboration with my office, we have seized yet another illegal weapon from a gang member here in Suffolk County,” District Attorney Sini said. “Any illegal firearm in the hands of a dangerous gang member is a threat to our public safety, particularly when that firearm is a ghost gun specifically manufactured to evade being detected and traced by law enforcement. It is a top priority for my office to continue working with all of our law enforcement partners to remove these illegal weapons from our streets and keep our communities safe.”
Robert Diaz, a/k/a “Bobbynice,” 19, of Staten Island, is charged with Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony; Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony; and Criminal Contempt in the First Degree, a class E felony. Diaz has been identified by law enforcement as a member of the Paybacc Crips street gang.
Diaz was identified as an alleged suspect pursuant to an ongoing investigation by the NYPD’s Field Intelligence Officers assigned to the 106th Precinct into illegal firearms possession. As part of the investigation, officers found numerous posts on Diaz’s Instagram account posing with and firing firearms, as well as posts referencing the assembly of ghost guns.
Police officers from the Suffolk County Police Department’s District Attorney Squad and NYPD executed a search warrant yesterday at a residence in Middle Island where Diaz was living, which resulted in the recovery of a loaded Polymer 80 9mm unserialized pistol, also known as a ghost gun, and a high capacity magazine. Diaz was also charged with Criminal Contempt for violating a stay away order of protection which prohibited him from being at the residence and from possessing any firearms.
Diaz was arraigned on the charges in Suffolk County First District Court today and bail was set at $100,000 cash or $200,000 bond. He is due back in court on Nov. 6. He is being represented by the Legal Aid Society.
If convicted of the top count, Diaz faces a maximum sentence of up to 15 years in prison.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Laura Sarowitz, of the Enhanced Prosecution Bureau.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.