Largest Ghost Gun Bust in New State State History Racks Up 336 Charges

A Maryland man recently racked up 336 charges in New York's largest "ghost gun" kit bust in the state's history.

Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced the charges filed against 57-year-old Wenli Bai, after authorities recovered "enough parts to build 74 'ghost guns,' 129 high-capacity magazines and additional ghost gun components."

The charges announced on Thursday come just a few days after authorities in New York charged four other individuals for possessing 27 ghost guns.

"This is the largest seizure of illegal ghost gun kits in New York State to date. In addition to 'the iron pipeline,' we're now seeing a polymer pipeline of illegal, untraceable ghost guns and ghost gun parts from down south," Katz said in a statement on Thursday. "These deadly weapons must be kept off our streets and my Office will continue to work diligently to dismantle this new polymer pipeline."

According to a press release, Bai faces 336 charges, which include "129 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, 129 counts of make/transport/dispose/deface weapons and dangerous instruments and 78 counts of prohibition on unfinished frames or receivers."

From February 12 to March 8, 2022, Bai allegedly spoke with a gun buyer who was an undercover agent from the district attorney's office. The two discussed bringing guns from Maryland, where Bai resided, to Queens and on February 15, Bai and the undercover agent agreed on a deal. Bai agreed to bring "15 Glock-style, polymer-80 ghost gun kits," to Queens, the press release said.

A few days later, on February 18, Bai allegedly traveled to Queens and sold the undercover agent "15 'ghost gun' build kits, as well as large-capacity ammunition feeding devices that hold more than ten rounds of ammo and two complete assault pistol 'ghost gun' build kits," the press release said.

Bai and the undercover agent then met again on March 8, where he allegedly sold the agent similar items, including 30 ghost gun build kits.

Following the exchange on March 8, authorities executed a search warrant on Bai's vehicle and recovered several more ghost gun build kits, as well as other ghost gun parts.

New York Attorney General Letitia James applauded the ghost gun bust saying, "As gun violence continues to plague our communities, eliminating ghost guns has become more important than ever."

"This massive takedown is critical to our efforts to stop the trafficking of these untraceable and unregulated weapons into New York. Nothing is more essential than protecting our communities from harm, and I thank District Attorney Katz for her important work to keep New Yorkers safe," James added.

On March 3, Katz made a similar announcement, charging four Queens residents for possessing illegal ghost guns after authorities discovered a cache of illegal weapons in the individual's homes.

Newsweek was directed to the press release issued on Thursday after reaching out to Katz' office for comment.

Guns
A Maryland man was recently arrested in New York on 336 charges related to ghost guns. Above, a customer purchases a gun at Freddie Bear Sports on April 8, 2021, in Tinley Park, Illinois. Scott Olson/Getty