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Prosecutors: Drug dealer was assembling untraceable weapons in Ronkonkoma hotel

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

News 12 Staff

Sep 10, 2019, 7:26 PM

Updated 1,745 days ago

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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.


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