| NO. 2003-063
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 063
Thursday, June 12, 2003
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly, Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, And Department Of Investigation Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn Announce Arrest Of Illegal Firearms Dealer
New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly,
Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes, and Department of Investigation
Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn today announced the arrest of Lester Battle, 28,
for selling illegal firearms. |
Battle, who has worked as a clerical
associate at the city's Human Resources Administration agency for seven years,
was arrested on Wednesday, June 11, at 5 p.m., outside his workplace at 45 Nevin
Street in Brooklyn.
The arrest follows a 15-month multi-agency operation.
After receiving information generated through the District Attorney's office,
the NYPD's Firearms Investigation Division used undercover detectives to
purchase 27 illegal guns from Battle on 14 different occasions since March 2002.
Battle conducted one of the sales, in which detectives bought three guns, during
a lunch break outside his building in Brooklyn.
Most of the firearms
Battle sold were 9-mm automatic handguns, though detectives also purchased two
Uzis and two sawed-off shotguns from him. Police traced one of the 9-mm guns
they bought to a non-fatal shooting that occurred on October 13, 2001, in the
Battle's brother, Saiyd Pryor, 21, was also arrested last
night at 11:30 p.m. Pryor lives with Battle at 70-38 Parsons Boulevard in
Queens, and took part in eight of the illegal sales that undercover detectives
Commissioner Kelly said:
"This individual sold numerous illegal firearms that went right to the streets
of our city and into the hands of other criminals. This arrest stands as another
example of the relentless determination of this Department to find the people
who sell illegal guns and to put them in prison. I want to commend everyone who
helped make this case a success."
Attorney Hynes said: "The outstanding level of cooperation between the
District Attorney's Office, the NYPD and the Department of Investigation made
these arrests possible. Selling illegal firearms is a
very dangerous crime.
These guns can very well end up in the hands of children, or be used against
police officers. What makes this case even more outrageous is that it was
perpetrated by a city employee. This
defendant and others like him make it
more difficult for our city to get these dangerous weapons off the streets,
which deters our on going efforts to make Brooklyn and New York City a safer
Commissioner Hearn said: "It's
shocking and troubling that a City employee would engage in such risky illegal
conduct and possibly endanger the safety and lives of the people of New York. I
the NYPD's Firearm Investigation Division, District Attorney
Hyne's office and the DOI investigators for their excellent work on this