(NEW YORK) — Two brothers have been arrested after police found homemade explosives along with a hit list and an arsenal of ghost guns in the apartment they shared with their mother and another brother, authorities say.
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced that two New York City residents — 39-year-old Andrew Hatziagelis and 51-year-old Angelo Hatziagelis — have been indicted on 130 counts of criminal possession of a weapon and related charges stemming from the discovery of “an arsenal of improvised explosive devices and ghost guns, including assault rifles, was found inside an Astoria apartment they shared with their mother and another brother.”
“Instructions for making a variety of bombs, anarchist propaganda and a ‘hit list,’ with ‘cops, judges, politicians, celebrities’ and ‘banker scum’ scrawled on it, were also found during a search of the home,” Katz said in her statement announcing details of the case against the Hatziagelis brothers.
The defendants are now awaiting arraignment on the litany 130-count indictment, including “eight counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the first degree, nine counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, 47 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, six counts of criminal possession of a firearm, eight counts of reckless endangerment in the second degree, 14 counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree, six counts of criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree, 15 counts of make/transport/dispose/deface weapons and dangerous weapons, three counts of unlawful purchase of body armor, one count of attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree, one count of attempted criminal possession of a firearm, and three counts of unlawful possession of a pistol or revolver ammunition, and nine counts of unlawfully dealing with fireworks and dangerous fireworks,” according to the Queens district attorney.
“Today’s charges underscore the harsh reality that our communities contain a small number of people who conceivably harbor evil intent. This cache of weapons – including explosives and untraceable, 3D-printed ghost guns – had the potential to wreak horrendous carnage,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “Along with our NYPD investigators, I thank all of our local, state, and federal law enforcement partners for their persistence in identifying, investigating, and holding fully accountable anyone who poses a risk to New Yorkers’ safety and well-being.”
Once inside the property, police ended up seizing eight operational improvised explosive devices (IEDs), one partially constructed trip-wire IED, two loaded AR-15 style ghost gun assault weapons, each with a detachable magazine, muzzle compensator and threaded barrel, two loaded 9 mm semiautomatic ghost gun pistols, two loaded 9 mm semiautomatic 3D-printed ghost gun pistols, a partially constructed AK-47 style ghost gun, more than 600 rounds of ammunition for each of the firearms above, a 3D printer, three sets of body armor, along with a radio set to the frequency of the 114th Precinct in Astoria and notebooks and manuals on how to build explosive devices, officials said.
“The city is safer today. My Crime Strategies and Intelligence Bureau launches investigations every day so that we find illegal weapons, including guns and in this case explosive devices,” District Attorney Katz said in her statement. “We cannot measure the number of lives that were saved, but we do know that these weapons will never hurt anyone. My Crime Strategies and Intelligence Bureau launched this investigation. Upon securing a search warrant we worked with the NYPD, Homeland Security, State Police and uncovered eight fully operable bombs, several guns and numerous other weapons.”
The defendants’ next court date is Feb. 15 and, if convicted, they each face up to 25 years in prison.
Said Homeland Security Investigations New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Erin Keegan: “HSI New York is committed to supporting our law enforcement partners when they call. In this case, the collaboration among various law enforcement agencies led to a discovery that most certainly could have saved lives. I thank the members of the HSI Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) and the Queens District Attorney’s Office, along with the NYPD, ATF, and the New York State Police, for their outstanding efforts to resolve a potentially dangerous situation.”
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