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Whitestone Man Busted for Cache of Illegal Ghost Guns: DA

Police allegedly recovered 42 illegal weapons during a raid of Joseph Maddaloni’s Whitestone residence on Aug. 18 (Photo courtesy of Queens District Attorney’s Office)

Aug. 23, 2022 By Christian Murray

A Whitestone man who was found to have dozens of illegal firearms—including several assault rifles—faces up to 25 years in prison on weapons related charges.

Joseph Maddaloni Sr., 55, of 25th Avenue, was arraigned Friday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Diego Freire on a 140-count complaint charging him with weapons possession and a slew of other charges following a police raid of his house on Aug. 18.

Authorities say they recovered 42 illegal firearms, including 15 fully assembled ghost gun semiautomatic pistols; 23 commercially manufactured weapons, including semiautomatic pistols; two AR-15 ghost gun assault-style rifles; two commercially manufactured AR-15 assault rifles; 33 high-capacity magazines and thousands of rounds of ammunition; and approximately $21,600 in cash.

“The investigation and arrest are critical to our efforts to stop the proliferation of gun violence plaguing our communities,” said Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz in a statement. “As alleged, the defendant possessed a deadly arsenal of weapons in his home — from personally manufactured ghost guns to commercially made firearms for which he did not have the legal right to possess.”

According to the charges, Maddaloni did have two permits allowing him to legally possess 10 pistols, each specifically enumerated by a serial number, as well as 11 rifles and shotguns also specifically enumerated on the permit by serial numbers.

However, Maddaloni allegedly purchased 25 additional commercially manufactured and serialized firearms, in addition to personally manufacturing 17 completed ghost guns—none of which are legally authorized under either of his permits.

The investigation began in May when Katz’ newly-formed Crime Strategies and Intelligence Unit as well as the DA’s Detective Bureau initiated an investigation into individuals purchasing illegal firearm components online. Maddaloni was soon identified as a major purchaser of illegal polymer-based un-serialized firearm components, which can be assembled into operable firearms with minimal effort, without serial numbers or the statutory requisite background checks, also known as “ghost guns.”

Judge Friere ordered Maddaloni to return to court on Aug. 24.

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