Cops Bust Gun Smugglers Who Used Coded Facebook Messages
A trio of gun traffickers was busted Tuesday for smuggling at least 50 firearms from Ohio to The Bronx — writing Facebook messages to each other using sneaker names as code words for the weapons, new court papers state.
Paul “Bucka” Barry, 31, Anthony Roman, 37, and Tiana Williams, 24, smuggled the guns — which included a semi-automatic rifle — into the borough and sold them to undercover investigators in 2014 and 2015, according to the Manhattan US Attorney’s Office.
“Barry sent Roman a message via Facebook stating ‘Size 9. I got four pairs of air jays bro,” the Manhattan federal-court complaint states.
“Air Jays” is a slang term for the popular Nike Air Jordan sneakers.
“I believe that when Roman and Barry discussed ‘four pairs’ of ‘size 9’ ‘air jays,’ [they] were referring to four 9 mm handguns,” the complaint states, adding that an undercover agent bought four 9 mm handguns from Roman the day after the message was sent.
Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said in a statement, “The NYPD remains committed to saving lives by stopping the distribution of illegal firearms.”
Each of the defendants faces a maximum of 10 years behind bars on the top gun rap.