A nearly 18-month investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has led to the arrest of two local men for regularly selling firearms out of a car in Flanders, according to federal records unsealed in the Eastern District Court of New York last week.
Federal agents used an informant to purchase handguns and ammunition from Christopher Manuel and Jeremie Briggs from a car parked in front of Mr. Manuel’s home in Flanders on four occasions between July and September 2017, according to a criminal complaint filed Oct. 16.
The two men, both of whom have prior felony convictions, were arrested a week later and indicted at the federal courthouse in Central Islip last Wednesday.
Both men have been charged with one count of illegal dealing in firearms and four counts of felon in possession of a firearm.
Mr. Manuel, 43, was released on a $50,000 bond following his arrest last month. Mr. Briggs, 41, of Riverhead was released on a $150,000 bond earlier this month.
The criminal complaint alleges that Mr. Manuel, who has a 2006 felony drug conviction, used an out-of-state source who trafficked in firearms to Flanders. The informant then used ATF funds to purchase the guns and ammunition from the two men. Mr. Briggs, who has at least three prior felony convictions for drugs or weapons-related crimes, would handle the guns using latex gloves and Mr. Manuel handled the cash, which ranged from between $850 to $1,000, according to the complaint.
The ATF seized the four firearms — a 9mm pistol, two .380-caliber pistols and a .38-caliber revolver — allegedly sold during the investigation, according to the indictment.
Agents said each of the transactions was recorded and monitored by law enforcement.
Photo caption: The federal courthouse in Central Islip.