Police Officer Nabbed For Illegally Selling Firearms, Orange County DA Says

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An area police officer has been arrested for illegally selling more than five firearms over the past year.

Gregg Marinelli, 38, of Plattekill, a police officer with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police, who holds the rank of Sergeant and is a Team Leader of with an EMS unit located outside of New York City, is accused of manufacturing dozens of handguns and assault rifles, including at least one fully automatic assault rifle, and selling them to individuals who are legally barred from possessing such weapons, said the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

The DA's Office alleged that Marinelli assembled the guns in his Plattekill home and sold them to others, including members of outlaw motorcycle groups and those with criminal convictions, sometimes delivering the illegal weapon using his marked police car.

Many of the weapons alleged to have been sold by Marinelli were “ghost” guns, meaning that he manufactured them without serial numbers, or in were some instances defaced weapons which had their serial numbers removed.

“Ghost” guns are difficult to trace and are therefore often sought after by those planning to use the guns illegally, the DA's Office said.

The investigation into Marinelli arose out of the recent enforcement action dubbed “Operation Bread, White and Blues” which concentrated on two separate conspiracies, one of which primarily involved members and associates of self-professed “outlaw” motorcycle clubs trafficking cocaine, and another of which involves the sale of narcotic pills.

Marinelli is not accused of any offenses related to the sale or possession of narcotics but became a subject of the investigation when information was developed suggesting that he may have alerted a suspect that he was a target of the investigation.

Marinelli is currently being held in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $200,000 cash or $600,000 bail. He is scheduled to appear in court on March 7.

He was arrested on Thursday when members of the state police and ATF executed a search warrant at Marinelli’s home in Plattekill and recovered gun parts, tools used to manufacture weapons, and numerous firearms.

Since that time the New York State Police have recovered 13 handguns and assault rifles from others which have been alleged to have been created and sold by Marinelli.

“I am enraged that a police officer would sell exactly the types of weapons that are used to kill innocent people, including police officers,” said District Attorney David Hoovler. “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."

Anyone who bought firearms from Gregg Marinelli is encouraged to call the New York State Police at (845) 344-5300 to arrange to turn the weapons in. Those who voluntarily surrender the weapons in this manner will not be prosecuted for their possession of the weapons, although they could be prosecuted for any crimes committed with the weapons.

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Kathy Reakes
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