Newport News arrests tied to gun trafficking scheme


NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side was on the scene as ATF agents conducted a search at a house on the 1200 block of Hampton Avenue near Chestnut Avenue in Newport News Wednesday morning.

Joseph Johnson and Brianna Glee of Virginia Beach and Tyshon Stevens of Brooklyn are accused of illegally transporting guns from Virginia to New York, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. 

Johnson and Glee were arrested at another location in Newport News away from the Hampton Avenue address, and they were found in possession of firearms. Tyshon Stevens was already in custody since his arrest May 22, according to court documents.

Johnson and Glee were scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon in Norfolk federal court. 

According to investigators, Johnson, Glee and Stevens bought more than 40 firearms from dealers in Virginia between April 2017 and May 2018, using straw buyers to make the purchases. According to an indictment unsealed Wednesday, New York officers recovered several of these illegally acquired and distributed guns.

“The defendants’ alleged illegal trafficking of firearms put deadly weapons in the hands of criminals,” said United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office is working tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to stop the flow of illegal firearms through the Interstate 95 corridor, commonly known as the ‘Iron Pipeline,’ by individuals who traffic in firearms and the straw buyers who enable their business.”

The indictment states Johnson ran the operation and that Glee was one of the straw buyers. Johnson reportedly used Facebook to find potential buyers with gang ties in Brooklyn. Stevens assisted him with finding buyers, according to the court paperwork.

Police from Newport News and New York were on the scene on Hampton Avenue Wednesday. There were also several animal control officers. Several pit bulls and puppies were removed from the house, 10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox confirmed.

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