Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of the first of two convicted gun traffickers from Pennsylvania who sold at least 13 loaded firearms in Manhattan. ALBERT STRIEGEL, 20, was sentenced to nine years in state prison after pleading guilty on June 29, 2012, to Criminal Sale of Firearms in the Second Degree, the top charge against him, and Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree. On June 28, 2012, co-defendant TRAVIS MATTHEWS, 23, pleaded guilty to Criminal Sale of Firearms in the First Degree, the top charge against him, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree. He is expected to be sentenced on July 13th to a substantial term in state prison to be imposed by the court.

“Those who seek to sell and transport illegal guns into this City from other states need only to look at these two traffickers to know the types of sentences that await them on conviction,” said District Attorney Vance. “We need to take decisive action to stop gun violence. I would like to thank the hard work of our prosecutors and the bravery of police officers who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe from dangerous weapons.

“Since its formation in June 2010, 422 guns[1] have been taken off the streets over the course of prosecutions by my Office’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit and its NYPD partners. An additional 139 guns were turned in on a single day last fall at a ‘Cash for Guns’ buyback event we sponsored with the NYPD, and numerous weapons are removed from circulation each year over the course of routine criminal prosecutions by prosecutors in my Office. While there’s no way to quantify the number of lives that potentially have been saved by the removal of hundreds of deadly weapons from our streets, I know that this City is undoubtedly safer because of it.”

According to documents filed in court, from February to November 2011, MATTHEWS and STRIEGEL transported firearms from Western Pennsylvania to New York City and sold them in Manhattan, among other places. As admitted in his guilty plea in court, MATTHEWS sold 13 firearms to undercover detectives in Upper West Side, East Harlem, and Washington Heights. MATTHEWS sold six of these firearms in STRIEGEL’s presence and with his assistance. The firearms that the defendants sold included semi-automatic pistols and revolvers.

Assistant District Attorney Andrew Searle prosecuted this case under the supervision of Christopher Ryan, Chief of Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit.

District Attorney Vance thanked Captain Robert Van Houten, Lieutenant Thomas McPartland, Detective Francis Gambardella, and the undercover detectives of the NYPD’s Firearms Investigations Unit for their partnership in the investigation.

[1]This number includes all guns taken off the street by officers working with the Violent Criminal Enterprises Unit in long-term trafficking investigations, search warrants, street stops, and other recoveries, and builds on the previous work of this office.
Defendant information:

ALBERT STRIEGEL, a/k/a “J.D. B-RAD,” D.O.B. 09/06/1991
Ambridge, PA

• Criminal Sale of Firearms in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count
• Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, a class E felony, one count

• 9 years in prison

TRAVIS MATTHEWS, a/k/a “J.D. O.T.,” D.O.B. 02/07/1989
Pittsburgh, PA

• Criminal Sale of Firearms in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
• Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, one count