Press Release

FATHER AND SON CHARGED WITH POSSESSING LOADED GHOST GUN ASSAULT WEAPONS

Woo_Takedown Photo 2_14_2024

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Hyung-Suk Woo and his father, Ji-In Woo, were arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a weapon after a search of their Fresh Meadows home uncovered ghost guns, including assault weapons, as well as silencers made with a 3-D printer and other weapons-related paraphernalia.

District Attorney Katz said: “Getting guns off our streets is my highest priority. That commitment has made my office a leader in the fight against ghost guns. Last year, we recovered 31% of the 359 ghost guns seized citywide and we have led the city in ghost gun recoveries every year since 2021. We will keep fighting the gun plague with everything we have. Every gun seized is a tragedy averted.”

Hyung-Suk Woo, 26, and Ji-In Woo, 55, of 198th Street in Fresh Meadows, were arraigned late last night on a 130-count complaint charging them with 10 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; 67 counts of  criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; 20 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; five counts of criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree; 17 counts of manufacture, transport, disposition, and defacement of weapons; five counts of criminal possession of a firearm; two counts of unlawful purchase of body armor; and four counts of unlawful possession of ammunition.

They each face up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Criminal Court Judge Jeffrey Gershuny ordered the defendants to return to court on February 16.

According to the charges:

  • The District Attorney’s office conducted an investigation into Hyung-Suk Woo’s purchase of polymer-based firearm components that are easily assembled into operable guns.
  • On February 14, officers from the NYPD and the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau executed a court-authorized search warrant at the defendants’ residence and recovered:
    • Two loaded and fully assembled AR-15 style ghost gun assault rifles
    • Two loaded and fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic ghost gun pistols with assault weapon characteristics
    • One loaded and fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic ghost gun pistol
    • Fifty-eight high-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, 13 of which were personally manufactured
    • One ballistic vest
    • One ballistic helmet
    • Fifteen additional unserialized lower receivers, including eight AR-15 style rifle lower receivers and seven semiautomatic pistol lower receivers
    • Four firearm silencers, three of which were personally manufactured utilizing 3D printing;
    • A drill press and other tools used to manufacture and/or assemble ghost guns
    • Approximately 1,000 rounds of ammunition

The seizure caps the fourth successful ghost gun investigation of the new year carried out by the Queens District Attorney’s office, which has led the city in ghost gun recoveries every year since 2021. In that time, the District Attorney’s efforts to rid the city of ghost guns has resulted in the recovery more than 350 illegal firearms. Thus far in 2024, Queens is leading NYC with 63% of the 57 total ghost guns recovered citywide to date.

The investigation was conducted by members of the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau under the supervision of Sergeant Joseph Oliver and Lieutenants Janet Helgeson and Joseph Falgiano, and under the overall supervision of Assistant Chief of Detectives Daniel O’Brien.

Also taking part in the investigation were NYPD Major Case Field Intelligence Detectives Mike Billotto, Victor Cardona, Paul Molinaro, John Schultz, Christopher Thomas, John Uske and Sergeant Christopher Schmitt, under the supervision of Sergeant Bogdan Tabor and Captain Christian Jara, and under the overall supervision of Inspector Courtney Nilan.

Assistant District Attorney Attaul Haq, of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies and Intelligence Bureau, is prosecuting the case, with assistance from Supervising Intelligence Analyst Jennifer Rudy and Intelligence Analyst Erik Hansen under joint supervision of Assistant District Attorney Shanon LaCorte, Bureau Chief, and Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Sennett, Bureau Chief of the Violent Criminal Enterprise Bureau, under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Investigations Gerard Brave.

 

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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