Prosecutors: Drug dealer was assembling untraceable weapons in Ronkonkoma hotel

Posted: Updated:

Prosecutors say a drug dealer was assembling illegal weapons in a Ronkonkoma hotel room.

Christopher Swanson is accused of buying gun parts without serial numbers on the internet, then assembling the guns in a hotel room.

Prosecutors say they seized a fully automatic pistol end and an assault rifle. Prosecutors call the firearms "ghost guns" because they are untraceable without serial numbers.

"They have no serial number, no registration number, and that's the whole point of these ghost guns," said Suffolk District Attorney Tim Sini. "You can purchase them and there's no record. There's no way for law enforcement to trace them."

The Sayville man was arrested in August when he parked a car that was reported stolen in a handicapped spot at the Clarion Hotel. Two police officers on patrol noticed the car and went into the hotel to investigate.

Prosecutors say when they got to Swanson's room, he opened the door and invited the officers in -- despite having the weapons in plain sight in the room.

Swanson, who has a prior felony drug conviction, was charged in an 14-count indictment Tuesday that includes weapons and drug charges. His attorney says his client's gun building isn't malicious -- he is a gun hobbyist.

"I think he's clearly a hobbyist and had a reasonable expectation of privacy in his hotel room," said attorney Charles Gleis. "He let them in because he clearly felt he was well within his rights to have what he had."

Sini says they also seized 890 bags of heroin from Swanson's hotel room. Two accomplices were also in the room. They have been identified as 39-year-old Marcella Brako, of Sayville, and 42-year-old Leon Janster, of St. James.

"This is a drug dealer. A drug dealer who was assembling ghost weapons," said Sini.

Sini commended the Suffolk police officers, Dan Teresky and Gina Lauricella, for their bravery.

Swanson was arraigned Tuesday and held on $250,000 bail.

  • SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • Congress holds public hearings in impeachment inquiry

    Congress holds public hearings in impeachment inquiry

    Photos from the public congressional hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and his administration's dealings with Ukraine.
    Photos from the public congressional hearings as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump and his administration's dealings with Ukraine.
  • Dog Day Fridays for Nov. 15

    Dog Day Fridays for Nov. 15

    Friday, November 15 2019 10:28 AM EST2019-11-15 15:28:42 GMT
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Oceanside. Their phone number is 516-306-4998.This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Oceanside. Their phone number is 516-306-4998.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Oceanside. Their phone number is 516-306-4998.This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Oceanside. Their phone number is 516-306-4998.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Oceanside. Their phone number is 516-306-4998.
    This week's dogs are up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue. The shelter is located in Oceanside. Their phone number is 516-306-4998.
  • Thanksgiving Day 2019 Shopping Guide

    Thanksgiving Day 2019 Shopping Guide

    If you are looking to start your holiday shopping before the turkey is out of the oven, here are stores that will be opened for Thanksgiving.
    If you are looking to start your holiday shopping before the turkey is out of the oven, here are stores that will be opened for Thanksgiving. 
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."