Tyreke Colon Allegedly Sold 36 Guns worth over $40,000 to Undercover NYPD Officer Over Several Months
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg, Jr., and New York City Police Department Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell announced the indictment of TYREKE COLON, 24, for trafficking guns from North Carolina to New York City. COLON allegedly sold 36 firearms to an undercover NYPD officer on three separate occasions from February to April 2022. He was arrested in Manhattan on May 19, 2022, in possession of five semi-automatic pistols and an AR-15-style assault rifle with a high-capacity magazine as he got off a bus from North Carolina.
COLON is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with two counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree; one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree; two counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree; seven counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree; one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree; and 36 counts of Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree. 
“Since I took Office, one of our main priorities has been to prosecute gun traffickers who bring dangerous weapons into our state. This joint investigation makes clear that we will proactively work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those individuals who are feeding the gun violence in our city,” said District Attorney Bragg. “This case illustrates how the iron pipeline continues to pose a direct and immediate threat to the safety of all New Yorkers. While we are fortunate to have some of the toughest gun laws in the country, they are far too often undermined by the easy availability of guns in many other states.”
“This indictment illustrates the NYPD’s work in strategically marshaling every possible resource toward reducing gun violence in New York City,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell. “In this swift, intelligence-driven case, our detectives and prosecutors in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office worked in tandem to interdict dozens of illegal firearms before they hit our city’s streets. It is important work that has saved lives and contributed to the seizure of more than 3,000 guns so far this year at a time when gun arrests are at a 28-year high.”
The Manhattan D.A.’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and the NYPD’s joint investigation included obtaining a court-authorized eavesdropping warrant to intercept calls, examining GPS data, CashApp payments and more.
According to court documents and statements made on the record in court, the investigation revealed that COLON recruited individuals he knew in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, to obtain permits and to purchase firearms for him. COLON then paid the straw purchasers back using CashApp.
COLON then traveled up from North Carolina either in a bus or car to Manhattan, where he set up sales with an undercover officer and handed over bags of weapons. All of the undercover buys occurred in broad daylight and were captured on video. Thirty-four of the weapons were semi-automatic pistols and two were revolvers. In total, COLON charged the undercover officer more than $40,000 for the weapons and magazines, which could hold hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
Through the eavesdropping warrant, investigators were able to hear COLON clearly plan out his trafficking plan. In one call he asks a friend for instructions to provide to the straw purchasers to obtain the necessary permits, saying, “What do you have to do once you do the application…oh alright so once you do the application you just go up there?”
Another conversation with a straw purchaser showed the ease of securing a permit in North Carolina, even with prior convictions for gun related crimes, with one asking if he could “still get your gun license” with a misdemeanor gun charge. COLON responded by saying, “It possible. It ain’t like they won’t deny you.”
He is also heard on the wire discussing logistics with the undercover detective, telling the detective that the next time he will be able to bring guns up to New York will be “towards the end of this month because I got like, well I got, I got a list of people getting all of them,” and that he had so many guns he “probably could bring the price down.”
Assistant District Attorney Lauren Di Giovanni is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Christopher Prevost (Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit), under the supervision of Executive D.A. Joyce Smith (head of the Trial Division). Senior Investigator Joseph Monroig and VCEU Investigative Analyst Henry Newton are also assisting with the case.
D.A. Bragg thanked the NYPD and the Manhattan North Violent Crime Squad, including Deputy Chief Brian McGee, Inspector Peter Fiorillo, Deputy Inspector Daniel Campbell, Captain Kurtis Rose, Sergeant John Mejia, Sergeant William Dooley, Detective Matthew Sgambati, Detective Fidel Santiago, and the undercover detectives.
Rocky Mount, NC
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the First Degree, a class B felony, two counts
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Second Degree, a class C felony, two counts
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, seven counts
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count
- Criminal Sale of a Firearm in the Third Degree, a Class D felony, 36 counts