Press Release


Song SW (2)

Faces up to 15 Years in Prison

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that Zhili Song of Flushing was arraigned on weapons possession and other charges after a search warrant executed at his basement apartment in his parent’s home uncovered a cache of firearms, including ghost guns, and ammunition.

District Attorney Katz said: “The arsenal of lethal illegal weapons and ammunition seized in this defendant’s home because of our investigation could have done untold damage. We will not let up in our efforts to get deadly weapons off the streets of Queens.”

Song, 30, of Laburnum Avenue in Flushing, was arraigned and charged with nine counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, nine counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, five counts of criminal possession of a firearm, four counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, three counts of make/transport/dispose/deface weapons and dangerous instruments, unlawful purchase of body armor, attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, and seven counts of firearms — certificates of registration. He is due back in court tomorrow. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

According to the charges, members of the Queens District Attorney’s office conducted a long-term investigation into the purchase of polymer-based, unserialized firearm components by Song. These components are easily assembled into operable firearms without serial numbers—commonly referred to as ghost guns —that enable users to skirt background checks.

On Tuesday, officers from the New York Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit and Major Case Field Intelligence Team, and the Queens District Attorney’s Detective Bureau obtained and executed a court-authorized search warrant of Song’s residence and recovered:

• One fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic ghost gun assault pistol with the ability to accept a detachable magazine and with a muzzle compensator, which reduces recoil when firing
• Two fully assembled 9 mm semiautomatic ghost gun pistols
• Two 5.56 caliber AR-15 assault rifles with detachable magazines and threaded barrels
• One semiautomatic rifle with a fixed magazine
• One semiautomatic .308 caliber M1 Garand rifle
• Two bolt-action rifles
• One disassembled 9 mm ghost gun
• Five large-capacity ammunition feeding devices capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition
• One silencer
• Ammunition for all the recovered weapons
• Multiple rounds of .50 caliber and 7.62 caliber ammunition
• One 3-D printer and 3-D printer filament
• A handheld drill and other tools used to make or assemble ghost guns
• Government issued identification in the name of Zhili Song

Several of the recovered firearms were accompanied by sophisticated and often expensive accessories for more precise shooting. These included holographic sights, which allow a shooter to quickly acquire a target, and lights and laser targeting systems affixed to the frames of several of the firearms to illuminate a target in the dark. There was also a tactical load-bearing vest with bullet-proof plates and the ability to hold magazines and other accessories.

A check of the License and Permit Systems database revealed that Song does not hold a license to possess or own firearms in New York City.

Since its creation 18 months ago by District Attorney Katz, the Crime Strategies and Intelligence Unit has launched 23 ghost gun investigations leading to 26 defendants being charged and the recovery of 241 firearms and more than 111,000 rounds of ammunition.

The investigation into Song was conducted by Assistant District Attorney Attaul Haq, of the District Attorney’s Crime Strategies & Intelligence Unit, Intelligence Analyst Victoria Filipe and Supervising Intelligence Analyst Jennifer Rudy, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Shanon LaCorte, Unit Director, along with members of the District Attorney’s Detective Bureau under the supervision of Sergeant Joseph Oliver and Lieutenant Janet Helgeson, and under the overall supervision of Chief of Detectives Thomas Conforti.

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

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Powers, of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, is prosecuting the case under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Jonathan Sennett, Bureau Chief, Michelle Goldstein, Senior Deputy Bureau Chief, Philip Anderson and Barry Frankenstein, Deputy Chiefs 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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