We knew that people had it coming when they were advertising weed, guns, and other types of illegal stuff on Instagram, but in no way did we expect it to lead to New York City’s largest gun bust in history.
Netting a total of 254 firearms and 19 indictments on 552 counts of conspiracy, criminal sale of a firearm, and criminal possession of a weapon, it all began when Brooklyn-based aspiring rapper Matthew Best – otherwise known as Neno Best – posted Instagram photos and YouTube videos of various guns and stacks of cold hard cash. Best gloated that he was selling weapons out of his Ocean Hill recording studio, boasting that he’s “packing more guns than the Air Force.” The feeds caught the attention of the New York Police Department, who then passed the information to undercover officers. After the officers tried to buy guns from other Brooklyn-based gun brokers running similar operations, cops eventually uncovered the multi-state gun trafficking ring that stretched from New York to South Carolina.
According to reports, the men would travel by bus, carrying up to 14 guns at a time on a overnight shuttle that dropped them off in Chinatown, New York. The indictment named one $160,000 sale that accounted for 208 guns, including a semi-automatic Soviet-era rifle, a weapon with a laser-dot sight attachment and suppressor, and a fully automatic MAC-11 pistol with a silencer as large as the gun. “In about five seconds, you get 32 rounds spraying down the street,” a law enforcement source said of the latter weapon.
The ring consisted of up to 16 accomplices who are now facing long prison terms if convicted.
“There is no doubt that the seizure of these guns – the largest bust in the city’s history – has saved lives. For that reason, every New Yorker, in every part of our city owes a debt of thanks to all those involved in this investigation,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Monday.
Social media is good for selling and boasting about a lot of things: brunch, outfits, travel destinations, but if you’re dumb enough to not realize the consequence of selling illegal items on a public network, you deserve what’s coming.