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NEW YORK - New York police announced Friday they have broken up two gun trafficking networks in what officials said was the biggest such bust in recent city history.
Indictments were filed against 16 members of the two networks after they sold more than 110 illegal weapons, including five assault rifles and machine guns, to undercover agents, police and prosecutors said.
"These are the most significant gun trafficking investigations in Manhattan in recent history, both in terms of the number of illegal gun traffickers taken into custody, and the sheer volume of illegal guns removed from the streets," Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said.
Although murders are at an all-time low in New York, shootings remain common: 127 incidents in Manhattan alone this year claimed 152 victims, 19 of whom died.
"Gun traffickers are bringing violence to our neighborhoods by selling illegal firearms -- they are at the root of the problem of gun violence in this city," Vance said.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly praised his officers for the arrests, singling out "someone we can only refer to as ‘Detective X,' for the dangerous undercover work that made this case possible."