On July 20, 2023, the New York State Police Community Stabilization Unit concluded a month-long investigation into illegal firearms trafficking in Oswego County.
18-year-old David M. Desimone III, from 143 Elderberry Lane in Hastings, was arrested for 53 felonies and 17 misdemeanors related to illegal firearms. CSU had conducted a previous criminal search warrant and an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) search order at the Desimone residence In November of 2022, and during that search warrant, items were seized, and an arrest was made.
On July 20th, State Police conducted another search warrant at this residence, but this time with the knowledge that a secret room contained the illegal components of Desimone’s illegal firearms trade. State Police seized machine guns modified to be fully automatic, handguns, silencers, body armor, and other illegal firearms components. Many items had their serial numbers removed and/or defaced; multiple items were "ghost" long guns and handgun parts.
The following is a breakdown of the charges:
Criminal possession of a weapon 2nd degree – (1) count – class "C" felony
Criminal possession of a weapon 3rd degree – (8) counts – class "D" felony (silencers)
Criminal possession of a weapon 3rd degree – (32) counts –class "D" felony (High capacity magazines)
Criminal possession of a weapon 3rd degree – (11) counts – class "D" felony (Defaced firearms)
Criminal possession of a firearm – (1) count – class "E" felony
Criminal possession of a weapon 4th degree – (14) counts – class "A" misdemeanor (Possessing gun manufacturing parts while the respondent of an Extreme Risk Protection Order)
Criminal Contempt 2nd degree – (2) counts – class "A" misdemeanor – (Violating the court order for possessing firearms while the respondent of an Extreme Risk Protection Order)
Unlawful possession of body armor – (1) count – class "A" misdemeanor
State Police allege Desimone has been selling firearms over the "dark web" and in person. Desimone is the subject of an Extreme Risk Protection Order, which restricts him from possessing any weapons. The state police utilized new penal law sections that deal with "ghost guns" and ERPO’s.
The state police were assisted by the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the United States Postal Inspector, The Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Oswego County DA’s Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office.
The Community Stabilization Unit is a new state police unit created in June 2021 to combat violent crimes, firearms, narcotics, and human trafficking.