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Hampton man arrested in multi-state gun ring

HAMPTON, Va. - Two men illegally sold at least 19 guns, including an AR-15, in a gun ring stretching from New York to Hampton Roads, federal prosecutors say.

Ronald Robinson

This week Derrick Hughes, of Queens, New York, and Ronald Robinson, of Hampton, were arrested and face two charges related to illegally trafficking firearms.

“Many gangs rely on illegal weapons to carry out criminal acts because they’re harder to trace,” said William F. Sweeney, Jr. of the FBI. “The two subjects in this investigation were allegedly trafficking illegal weapons along the 95 interstate corridor that leads directly onto Long Island. We are doing more and more every day with our law enforcement partner agencies to stop this pipeline, and keep deadly weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”

Robinson purchased many of the guns in Virginia Beach and then sold them to people in New York, according to an indictment in the case. Hughes set up meetings with buyers for the sales, the indictment says.

The bust follows several others connected to Virginia and Hampton Roads. Following a bust in June, Sen. Tim Kaine said it's not a surprise to him many of these types of cases involve people in Virginia.  "I think we've seen an uptick in these cases in Virginia where straw purchases are being done, often by felons," he said. "They find a way to make these purchases and then they sell the guns to New York and other places, where they're used to commit crimes."

If convicted, both Hughes and Robinson face a maximum of five years in prison. Robinson is scheduled to face a judge on Friday afternoon.