LONG ISLAND, NY (PIX 11)—Four gun store owners and five employees on Long Island are under arrest Thursday after selling assault weapons to undercover investigators, according to the Nassau County D.A.
"The nine men arrested today were openly breaking the law, making a practice of putting profits before the safety of our citizens, and flooding our streets with dangerous assault weapons," Rice said. "Make no mistake, these are combat-specific weapons and not intended for hunting. They have no place on our streets or in the hands of civilians."
Under New York law, only police officers, peace officers and members of the military are allowed to possess assault weapons, defined as a "semi-automatic rifle with the ability to accept a magazine carrying more than five rounds of ammunition". To be an assault weapon, the gun must also have two of the following characteristics -- a folding or telescoping stock, a protruding pistol grip, a bayonette mount, a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor, or a grenade launcher.
One of the men, 55-year-old Martin Tretola, owner of T&T Tactical in New Hyde Park and T&T Gunnery in Seaford, was placing a temporary pin in the stock of his weapons so they wouldn't fold or telescope.
However, Tretola had no problem showing undercover officers just how easy it was to take out the temporary pin in order to collapse the weapon, according to the DA. Tretola now faces up to 15 years in prison.
The three other owners are Mark Wroobel, 40, owner of Hunter Sports in Massapequa; Andrew Chernoff, 50, owner of Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale and Michael Marinello, 41, owner of South Shore Sportsman in Merrick.