Press Release

MORE THAN 30 FIREARMS RECOVERED FROM ROCKAWAY BEACH HOME

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VIDEO: https://youtu.be/l2t3OLl4Mco

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Ryszard Materna has been arraigned on weapon possession charges after a search of his Rockaway Beach home uncovered ghost guns, including assault weapons, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition and other weapons-related paraphernalia.

 

District Attorney Katz said: “For those who think they are safe placing orders online and assembling deadly weapons in the comfort of their home, they need to think again. So far this year, we have recovered 69% of the ghost guns seized citywide and we will continue to meticulously go after illegal guns and those who stockpile them. Every gun that we seize is a potential tragedy averted.”

 

New York City Police Commissioner Edward A. Caban said “These charges emphasize that the manufacturing of illegal, untraceable ghost guns is one of New York City’s most pressing public safety concerns, and we are taking direct action to combat this issue. Our relentless efforts to eliminate gun violence in New York make clear that NYPD investigators, in collaboration with the Queens District Attorney’s office, will continue to vigorously pursue these types of cases.”

 

Materna, 51, of Beach 117th Street in Rockaway Park, was arraigned yesterday on a 281-count complaint charging him with two count of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree; 53 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree; 137 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; 19 counts of manufacture, transport, disposition and defacement of weapons and dangerous instruments and appliances; 29 counts of criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree; 29 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree; six counts of failure to safely store files, shotguns and firearms in the first degree; endangering the welfare of a child; three counts of unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition; and two counts of failure to obtain firearm certificates of registration.

 

Materna faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted. Criminal Court Judge Germaine Auguste ordered the defendant to return to court on April 22.

 

According to the charges:

 

  • The District Attorney’s office conducted a long-term investigation into Materna’s purchase of polymer-based firearm components that can be easily assembled into operable weapons, known as ghost guns.

 

  • Materna placed numerous orders for firearm components, accessories and ammunition which were shipped to an address in Pennsylvania and his home in Rockaway Park.

 

  • On April 17, officers from the NYPD and the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau executed a court-authorized search warrant at the defendant’s residence and recovered:

 

  • Two loaded fully assembled .45-caliber semiautomatic ghost gun pistols
  • One loaded fully assembled .40-caliber semiautomatic ghost gun pistol
  • Five loaded fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic ghost gun pistols
  • Five loaded fully assembled .223-caliber semiautomatic AR-15 style ghost gun assault rifles
  • One loaded fully assembled .22-caliber semiautomatic AR-15 style ghost gun assault rifle
  • Four loaded fully assembled 5.56-caliber semiautomatic AR-15 style ghost gun assault rifles
  • One loaded fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic AR-15 style ghost gun assault rifle
  • Two loaded fully assembled .45-caliber semiautomatic AR-15 style ghost gun assault rifles
  • Two loaded fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic AR-9 style ghost gun assault rifles
  • One loaded fully assembled .308-caliber semiautomatic AR-10 style ghost gun assault rifle
  • One loaded full assembled 7.62-caliber semiautomatic AK-47 style ghost gun assault rifle
  • One loaded commercially made .223-caliber semiautomatic AR-15 style assault rifle
  • One loaded commercially made 7.62-caliber AK-47 style ghost gun assault rifle
  • One loaded commercially made .22-caliber LR semiautomatic pistol
  • One loaded commercially made Davies Industries .380-caliber pistol
  • One unloaded commercially made Mossberg 12-gauge Shotgun
  • One unloaded commercially made Inter Arms. .22-caliber Bolt Action Rifle
  • 107 high-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition
  • Four additional lower receivers
  • Two silencers
  • One handheld Dremel and other tools used to manufacture and/or assemble ghost guns
  • 5,000 rounds of assorted 9 mm, .300- and 5.56-caliber ammunition

 

The seizure caps the fifth successful ghost gun investigation this 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 of 392 illegal firearms. Thus far in 2024, Queens is leading New York City with 69% of the 110 total ghost guns recovered citywide to date.

 

The investigation was conducted by members of the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau assigned to the Crime Strategies and Intelligence Bureau under the supervision of Sergeant Joseph Oliver and Lieutenant Joseph Falgiano, under the supervision of Deputy Assistant Chief of Detectives Janet Helgeson and Assistant Chief of Detectives Daniel O’Brien, and under the overall supervision of Chief of Detectives Robert LaPollo.

 

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

 

Assistant District Attorney Michael Bello, 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 Hong Man Lam 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.