A security guard at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum and two others are accused of smuggling 50 guns into New York City by bus and storing them inside the Equinox gym where one of the suspects worked, according to law enforcement sources.
The security guard, 29-year-old Maquan Moore, and Morris Wilson of Florida were both arrested Thursday night after four deals with undercover NYPD officers and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive agents, according to authorities and a criminal complaint against Moore. The third suspect, an employee at the Equinox Printing House on Hudson Street, is still at large.
Authorities said that Wilson, of Orlando, brought the guns to the city by bus beginning in December. Then, Moore allegedly took the guns to the Equinox, where the third suspect stored them for short periods leading up to gun sales.
The complaint charges Moore with trafficking more than 25 firearms, although 50 firearms were smuggled into the city, according to sources. Among the guns allegedly sold were several 9-millimeter handguns, a Kahr .380 pistol and an AM-15 semiautomatic rifle.
"Maquan Moore and Morris Wilson are responsible for illegally introducing into Manhattan scores of illegal firearms – including assault-style weapons capable of inflicting mass casualties – and knowingly doing so in the neighborhood of a nearby school," said interim U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. "Their alleged disregard for public safety could have had catastrophic consequences."
The undercover cops and agents set up four buys from the men, according to the complaint. When they met the trio, sources said the agents purchased the guns outside the gym just blocks away from Public School M560, a high school in lower Manhattan.
Moore and an undercover officer first met on Malcom X Boulevard in Brooklyn on Nov. 28, according to the complaint, which says Moore told the officer he had access to firearms from an out-of-state connection. Moore allegedly showed the officer a photo on his cellphone of multiple firearms available for purchase.
Moore and the undercover officer then met four times – Dec. 13, Dec. 27, Jan. 3, and Jan. 10 – at a location in lower Manhattan, the complaint says. All of the meetings were video and audio recorded, according to the complaint.
At the first meeting, Moore allegedly sold the officer four firearms. He’d go on to sell the officer five firearms at the second meeting, nine firearms at the third meeting, and nine firearms at the fourth meeting, the complaint says. Among the weapons sold to the officer was a MAC-10, which is an assault weapon under state law.
On Jan. 23, Moore allegedly sent a text message to the officer, saying: “I got half ya sneakers…7 for 5 soon as u ready.” According to the complaint, Moore was referencing seven firearms he was selling for $5,000. The complaint alleges four of those seven guns were purchased in Florida in December.
Wilson arrived in Chinatown by bus on Feb. 1 to deliver a bag of weapons, according to the complaint. Moore allegedly sold the weapons to the undercover officer that evening in lower Manhattan. The two men were arrested as they left the sale, the complaint says.
Moore and Wilson both face conspiracy and weapons charges. It wasn't immediately known if they had attorneys.
Charges for the Wilson weren't immediately available.
News 4 has reached out to Equinox and the Sept. 11 Museum and Memorial seeking comment.