Sunday, January 22, 2006


Two young women are under arrest, accused of buying handguns in Alabama so they could sell them in Boston for a quick profit. Niya Mills, 23, of Roxbury and Sukia Omere, 20, of Boston were arrested Tuesday and found with six handguns and 50 rounds of ammunition in the car the women rented for their trip to Alabama, US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan said. The women had hoped to resell the handguns for up to $800 each, he said.

Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O'Toole said yesterday that the firearms probably would have become ''community guns," weapons stashed at the end of streets and other convenient locations and shared by criminals. Community guns tend to be older weapons, like the .38-caliber revolvers, .380-caliber pistol, and .357-caliber revolver found in the suspects' rental car, she said.

Older guns, which are cheaper and harder to trace, are becoming the weapon of choice on city streets, police said. Of the 755 guns recovered by Boston police in 2004, about 64 percent were at least seven years old, said Officer John Boyle, a spokesman. ''They can certainly still function properly despite the age," said Jim McNally, spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Boston. ''The bad guys read the papers, watch the news. They get to know what law enforcement is doing to fight [crime], and they know tracing firearms is a big part of what we do. The odds of tracing [older guns] are not as good."

Boston police are grappling with an increasing number of weapons coming from out of state. Although most illegal guns found in Boston in 2004 came from Massachusetts, police have traced more firearms to other New England states, including Maine, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, and Southern states such as Alabama, Florida, and Maryland.

Mills got the idea to buy and resell the guns from a friend who bought four handguns in Alabama for $800, according to an affidavit filed by ATF Special Agent Thomas F. Crowley. The friend, who was not identified, then sold the weapons, two Glocks and two .380-caliber pistols, for $800 each in Dorchester, Crowley said in the affidavit.


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