Oct. 18, 2021 By Allie Griffin
A couple who allegedly stored a stockpile of gun-making equipment in the Rosedale home they shared with their 10-year-old daughter was charged with criminal sale of a weapon and other charges Friday.
Lissette Espinal, 32, and Ricardi Kiem, 31, were arraigned in Queens Criminal Court Friday morning on a 39-count criminal complaint.
Kiem was allegedly assembling guns for sale without serial numbers—known as ghost guns—in their basement apartment on Hook Creek Boulevard, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said.
“Ghost guns are essentially homemade weapons that can be assembled by anyone without background checks or any other oversight,” Katz said. “Those who seek to enrich themselves by selling these deadly firearms are literally lining their pockets with blood money.”
Police searched the home Thursday after securing a court-authorized search warrant as part of an ongoing investigation and found numerous guns and components of guns, according to the complaint.
The officers even found firearms and parts in the dresser drawer of the couple’s 10-year-old daughter. Kiem allegedly assembled and stockpiled the firearms in plain view of the child, Katz said.
The officers seized six fully assembled pistols, numerous firearm parts, eight magazines and about 650 rounds of ammunition from the apartment.
Kiem isn’t licensed to possess or carry firearms in New York City, Katz said.
Kiem and Espinal were charged with criminal possession of a weapon in the second and third degree; criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree; attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree; endangering the welfare of a child; make/transport/dispose/deface weapons and dangerous instruments, firearms; unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition and prohibition on unfinished frames and receivers.
Their next court date is Nov. 3. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
Katz warned others who wish to make and sell ghost guns that they’ll face similar consequences.
“Take this warning seriously: we will continue to relentlessly go after back street gun dealers to keep our neighborhoods safe,” she said.