GOSHEN – A sergeant in the New York City Department of Environmental Protection Police Department was arrested Thursday by State Police on charges that he manufactured and possessed firearms, including handguns, assault rifles and at least one fully automatic assault rifle.
Gregg Marinelli, 38, of Plattekill is accused of illegally made the firearms and sold them to others, including members of outlaw motorcycle groups and those with criminal convictions, sometimes delivering them using his marked police car.
Many of the weapons he sold were “ghost” guns, manufactured without serial numbers, or in some instances, defaced weapons that had their serial numbers removed.
Police said “ghost” guns are difficult to trace and are often sought after by those planning to use guns illegally.
A warrant search of Marinelli’s residence turned up gun parts, tools used to manufacture weapons, and several firearms. State Police also recovered 13 handguns and assault rifles from others that were manufactured and sold by Marinelli.
The investigation into Marinelli arose from the recent “Operation Bread, White and Blues” drug bust involving two conspiracies, outlaw motorcycle gangs and a former lieutenant in the Middletown City Fire Department.
Marinelli is charged with criminal sale of firearms, criminal possession of a weapon, manufacturing and disposition of a weapon, conspiracy for conspiring to sell a loaded and defaced .40 caliber pistol, and hindering prosecution for alerting a suspect that he was the target of a police investigation. He is currently in the Orange County Jail in lieu of $200,000 cash bail or $600,000 bond.
DEP issued a statement saying, “The alleged crimes betray the oath that this officer took to protect the public. DEP is fully cooperating in the investigation.”
Anyone who bought a firearm from Marinelli is urged to call the State Police at 845-344-5300 to surrender the weapons. Those who voluntarily surrender the weapons will not be prosecuted for their possession, although they could be prosecuted for any crimes committed with the weapons, police said.
Marinelli is not accused of any offenses related to the sale or possession of narcotics in the outlaw gang case but became a suspect of investigation when information was developed suggesting he may have alerted a suspect that he was a target of the investigation.
The investigation was conducted by the State Police, federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive, and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Marinello is a team leader with an emergency services unit of the DEP Police located outside New York City.