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2 Queens Men Arrested For Buying Illegal Weapons and Ammo in FBI Sting Op: Feds

AR-15 (STNGR Industries via Unsplash)

May 13, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Two Queens residents have been busted for allegedly buying a cache of weapons and ammunition from an undercover FBI agent.

Joseph Miner, 29, who has a history of posting anti-Semitic and racist and language on social media, was arrested along with Daniel Jou, 40, Tuesday night.

The pair, who are both from Bayside, bought assault rifles with defaced serial numbers off the agent in a hotel room near LaGuardia Airport, federal prosecutors said.

U.S. District Attorney Richard Donoghue, who is prosecuting the case, said that the arsenal was capable of inflicting mass bloodshed.

According to the charges, both men believed that the undercover agent was a firearms dealer who would supply them with multiple illegal firearms and ammunition. They met with the agent in April and used an encrypted messaging platform to continue communications with the officer.

The three arranged to meet at the location Tuesday in order to carry out the illegal deals.

Miner purchased an AR-15-style ghost gun, a Mossberg 500 shotgun and an M&P “Shield” model 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. The shotgun and the pistol had their serial numbers wiped off.

Jou purchased a fully automatic Colt M4 assault rifle, and a Glock 19 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that had its serial number scraped off.

The pair also purchased silencers, ammunition and two high-capacity magazines for their respective assault weapons.

The exchanges were recorded on video and audio surveillance and both men were then arrested as they attempted to leave the building following the deal, prosecutors said.

Investigators were uncertain if the pair had plans to carry out a mass shooting or an attack on civilians. They did emphasize in court documents that Miner had purchased body armor and a tactical helmet a few weeks ago.

Prosecutors said that Miner had posted a series of Instagram messages that displayed suicidal thoughts and that he fantasized about “martyring” himself. According to one posting Miner described how he would “go out in a blaze of glory” in a mass shooting-type of attack.

“Tbh [to be honest] dying fighting Paki and African pieces of shit in Europe wouldn’t be the worst way to go. Die a hero,” he posted on Feb. 14, according to prosecutors.

Miner also posted photographs of himself giving Nazi salutes and a photograph of a Planned Parenthood facility being blown up by the comic book character the Joker, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also allege that Miner responded to a photograph of an attack at a synagogue in Rockland County last December by commenting, “ngl [not gonna lie] this is pretty fucking exciting.”

NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea warned that those advocating violent extremism would be sought out by law enforcement.

“Seeking to buy illegal weapons after one defendant has at times advocated for racially motivated violence constitutes a very real threat to the citizens of New York,” Shea said.

Both men appeared before Brooklyn federal court Wednesday via teleconference. The defendants were ordered detained pending trial.

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