AP NEWS

Police officer charged with illegally making, selling guns

March 2, 2019
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In this March 1, 2019 photo provided by the New York State Police in Middletown, N.Y., New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police Sergeant Gregg Marinelli is shown. Marinelli, who was arrested at his Plattekill, N.Y. home on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, faces illegal arms manufacturing and sales charges as well as a charge of Hindering Prosecution. (New York State Police via AP)

PLATTEKILL, N.Y. (AP) — A police officer with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection has been arrested on charges of manufacturing guns at his upstate home and selling them to motorcycle gang members.

Thirty-eight-year-old Gregg Marinelli is also charged with tipping off a suspect in a major drug investigation, state police and the Orange County district attorney’s office said.

Marinelli, a sergeant in the DEP police, was arrested Thursday at his home in Plattekill.

Police say Marinelli assembled dozens of handguns and assault rifles and sold them to “individuals who are legally barred from possessing such weapons” including members of outlaw motorcycle clubs. Many of the guns Marinelli sold had no serial numbers and would be difficult to trace, authorities said.

The Times Herald-Record of Middletown reports that Marinelli was arraigned Friday on charges including criminal sale of a firearm, hindering prosecution and conspiracy.

Police said they learned about Marinelli’s crimes during a cocaine- and fentanyl-trafficking investigation dubbed “Operation: Bread, White and Blues” that resulted in more than two dozen arrests. Marinelli tipped off “one of the major people” in that case, Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said Friday.

“This has to be one of the most egregious breaches of trust that I have encountered,” Hoovler said. “I am furious. Number 1, about the leak in the case; and number 2, the conduct, the possibility of putting untraceable guns on the street.”

It’s not clear if Marinelli has an attorney who can speak for him.

A spokesman for the New York City DEP said Saturday that the alleged crimes “betray the oath that this officer took to protect the public.”

Plattekill is about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of New York City. The city DEP deploys officers to the area to protect the city’s water supply system.

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Information from: The Times Herald-Record, http://www.th-record.com