NYPD arrests 2 suspects with arsenal of homemade weapons
Fox News’ Bryan Llenas reports on the items found in the suspects’ Queens apartment, including a hit list, 600 rounds of ammunition, a notebook with anti-government conspiracy theories, and a collection of homemade weapons.
Two men have been indicted on more than 100 counts for allegedly hoarding a stockpile of ghost guns and homemade explosives in New York City – in an apartment right across from a power plant.
While authorities say no link to a terror or criminal group has been detected at this stage of the investigation, Andrew and Angelo Hatziagelis were indicted Friday on 130 counts of criminal possession of weapons and other related charges after prosecutors said ghost guns, assault rifles and other homemade explosive devices were found in their Queens apartment.
Also found were anarchist propaganda and a hit list targeting cops, judges, politicians and celebrities, authorities said.
On Jan. 17, after a six-month investigation into the illegal manufacturing of ghost guns and 3D-printed firearms, detectives and NYPD personnel executed a search warrant at the Hatziagelis’ home in Astoria, which “happens to be right across the street from the Con Edison Power facility,” Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said at a press conference Monday.
NYPD DISCOVERS 3D-PRINTED GHOST GUNS IN EAST HARLEM DAY CARE AS CITY REELS FROM BABY’S FENTANYL EXPOSURE DEATH
Andrew and Angelo Hatziagelis face 130 weapons-related counts. (Fox News)
The apartment search resulted in the recovery of six operable and loaded ghost guns, including 3D-printed firearms, assault weapons, various protective gear and eight improvised explosive devices (IED), she said.
Law enforcement also recovered one partially constructed IED rigged with a trip wire device, demonstrating “an advanced level of sophistication in homemade explosives,” Katz noted.
Also found were nine additional functional smoke bombs, “which can be used to divert attention,” one partially constructed AK-47-style ghost gun, more than 600 rounds of ammunition, one 3D printer, three sets of body armor and 29 high-capacity magazines. Katz said a radio scanner – set to the frequency of the 114th Precinct – was also found: “So, they were listening.”
“It is significant to note that homemade explosives in general and improvised explosive devices such as the ones we recovered are extremely unpredictable and highly volatile. The mere act of removing them from the house and have them submitted for lab testing is risky for the NYPD and for any office or agency that enters the building that they are contained in,” she said.
During the execution of the search warrants, NYPD bomb squad detectives had to leave the premises several times while they studied the devices and disassembled them.
“In fact, four of the IEDs were recovered in the same container. Had one of those IEDs detonated, it would likely have resulted in a shock wave that would have detonated the remaining explosives,” Katz said. “This prompted the bomb squad, like I said, to evacuate the entire building several times.”
Andrew and Angelo Hatziagelis are facing more than 100 counts for allegedly hoarding a stockpile of ghost guns and homemade explosives in their Queens apartment. (Fox News)
NYPD DEFENDS ‘LEGAL AND PROFESSIONAL’ TRAFFIC STOP OF ‘CENTRAL PARK 5’ COUNCIL MEMBER, RELEASES BODYCAM VIDEO
“The evidence revealed that the material contained in these IEDs were highly compacted. It means that there is a large amount of explosive substance present within them. When combined with the chemical elements, these devices are capable of [a] high-order payload that would kill, maim, cause significant damage,” the district attorney said. “And like I said before, the bombs, the smoke bombs, very often are used to divert attention, so something else criminal can happen at that time.”
Also found were numerous notebooks that contained instructions on the manufacture of explosive devices and “anarchist-related propaganda,” Katz said.
An arsenal of ghost guns, other weapons and supplies were found at Andrew and Angelo Hatziagelis’ apartment, according to authorities. (Fox News)
That includes a hit list with the words “cops,” “judges,” “politicians,” “celebrities” and “banker scum” scrawled on them, material expressing views made famous by Charles Manson, including “animal sacrifices are forbidden, human sacrifice is permissible, but only for the corrupt – murderers, politicians and judges and others.”
The search resulted in the seizure of materials to aid in the transportation of the weapons, including knapsacks, smoke bombs, extra magazines, a baton, pepper spray, food and water bottles. Katz said that while “there’s no indication” that the Hatziagelis’ are part of a terrorist network or criminal organization, the investigation is ongoing.
NYPD Deputy Commissioner of Intelligence and Counterterrorism Rebecca Weiner explained that the notebooks “contained symbols, iconography, consistent with numerous conspiracy theories” as well as “anti-government, anti-authority, extremist ideology, which is on the rise and has been over the past couple of years.”
“The targeting, potential fixation with judges, with politicians, with police, is something that is a more widespread trend of which this may be an example though recipes to make improvised napalm grenades, fertilizer bombs, black powder, smoke bombs, Molotov cocktails,” Weiner said. “This was not an ordinary search warrant at all. And although we may yet know the defendant’s intentions or the extent of what we’ve disrupted yet, the investigation is ongoing.”
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Speaking broadly about the threat landscape in the U.S. and New York City, Weiner said in an interview with Fox News ahead of the press conference that since 9/11, a single act of terrorism “has not injected as much energy into the broad swath of the terrorism threat environment as we saw on Oct. 7th.”
“So, [we] see a heightened threat from al Qaeda, ISIS and those who they inspire,” she said. “We just had, unfortunately, three U.S. servicemen killed yesterday by a Shia militia group. That threat is certainly much higher than it was. And then we see the domestic violent extremism threat in a heightened state as well, and that is since Oct. 7th. But it’s been rising steadily over the last couple of years. And we see more of that looking down the pike for us as we get closer to our election.”
Andrew, 39, and Angelo, 51, each face up to 25 years in prison. Their next court date is Feb. 15.
Danielle Wallace is a reporter for Fox News Digital covering politics, crime, police and more. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter: @danimwallace.