Attorney General And Troopers Do Gun Control Sting In Chautauqua County
32 Year Old Man Arrested For Allegedly Breaking the Safe New York Act
March 15, 2013
CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY, NY - Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reports the arrest of Benjamin Wassell, 32, of Chautauqua County. Wassell is the first known suspect arrested as the result of a sting operation, since the Safe New York Act was passed.
According to the attorney general, Wassell is said to have sold illegal weapons to a New York State Police Investigator on two separate occasions. The a.g. says Wassell is alleged to have arranged to sell an illegal DelTon DTI-15 assault rifle to an undercover NYS Police investigator in January of this year. Officials say that the rifle was outfitted with additional features including a pistol grip, a telescoping butt stock, and a bayonet mount, it is classified as an illegal assault weapon under the Penal Law. It's also alleged that in February, Wassell sold an Armalite AR-10 Magnum Semiautomatic Rifle to the NYS Police undercover investigator, in violation of the newly enacted New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 which made illegal the Transfer, Sale, Exchange and Disposal of an Assault Weapon to a Person Unauthorized to Possess such a Weapon.
"By selling these illegal firearms, Mr. Wassell’s actions had potentially dangerous consequences for New Yorkers," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "We have seen far too much gun violence in our state in recent months and the sale of illegal semiautomatic weapons will not go unpunished. I commend the work of investigators in this case who helped send a message that these types of illegal gun sales will not be tolerated."
New York State Police Superintendent Joseph D'Amico said, "The defendant is accused of illegally selling assault weapons not once, but twice. Add to that, he was willing to sell to someone without knowing anything about their background and it's exactly the type of dangerous and illegal activity that can lead to more gun violence in our communities. Once again our partnership with the Attorney General's office has resulted in taking a dangerous criminal off the streets."