Cop From Hudson Valley Sold ‘Ghost’ Gun to Firefighter
A former police sergeant from the Hudson Valley is heading to prison.
On Wednesday, Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced, Gregg Marinelli, 39, of Plattekill, New York, a former Sergeant with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison in connection with having sold a “ghost” gun with no serial numbers on it to an outlaw motorcycle club member, who was also a Lieutenant with the City of Middletown Fire Department, and later alerting him that he was the target of a police investigation.
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On December 2, 2019, Marinelli pleaded guilty to criminal possession of a weapon and hindering prosecution.
At the time that he pleaded guilty, Marinelli admitted that sometime between June 15, 2018 and September 30, 2018, he sold a pistol, which resembled a semi-automatic Glock pistol, to Paul Smith, who was then a City of Middletown Fire Department lieutenant. Smith had been a central figure in a New York State Police enforcement operation dubbed “Operation Bread, White and Blues” which concentrated on members and associates of self-professed “outlaw” motorcycle clubs trafficking cocaine and others who were selling pills.
The gun, which the investigation showed was one that Marinelli had manufactured, had no serial numbers on it. That gun and many of the weapons alleged to have been sold by Marinelli were “ghost” guns, meaning that he manufactured them without serial numbers, or in some instances were defaced weapons that had their serial numbers removed, officials say. “Ghost” guns are difficult to trace and are, therefore, often sought after by those planning to use the guns illegally, according to police.
“I am enraged that a police officer would sell exactly the types of weapons that are used to kill innocent people, including police officers,” Hoovler said. “The types of ‘ghost’ guns which were recovered in this case are valuable to criminals precisely because they are difficult to trace. A police officer who alerts an armed drug dealer who has proudly proclaimed his status as ‘outlaw’ motorcycle club member, that he is the subject of police investigation, not only compromises that investigation, but puts his fellow police officers at risk.”
Smith of Deerpark pleaded guilty in April 2019 to operating as a major trafficker and conspiracy, in connection with the conspiracy to distribute cocaine through self-professed “outlaw” motorcycle clubs. Additionally, Smith agreed to forfeit $315,000 that he made from selling cocaine as well as a 2014 Dodge Ram pick-up truck, a 2008 Corvette automobile and a 2012 Harley Davidson motorcycle that he used to transport narcotics