2012-10-19 / Front Page

Belle Harbor Biker Gangster Busted

By Nicholas Briano

The Beach 128 Street house where Brannigan often stored and sold firearms and ammunition. The house doubled as a day care center run by his wife. The Beach 128 Street house where Brannigan often stored and sold firearms and ammunition. The house doubled as a day care center run by his wife. A motorcycle gangster living in Belle Harbor while his wife ran a day care center on the first floor of their Beach 128 Street home spent years dealing firearms out of his garage and assembling homemade explosives on the second floor until federal agents executed a search warrant on Tuesday morning and arrested him on firearms trafficking charges, according to federal law enforcement officials.

Court papers show that Scott “Spider” Brannigan, 61, along with seven other middle aged members of three Brooklyn-based, violent motorcycle gangs, sold a total of 41 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition and an operational cannon to undercover officers over the course of a two year investigation led by an ATF Joint Firearms Task Force and the NYPD Brooklyn North Gang Squad.

In addition to the firearms sales, the search warrants executed at various locations on Tuesday morning collectively resulted in the seizure of 20 firearms, seven IEDs, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

The indictment says that the explosives were manufactured and the guns were sold at the Brannigan’s home, located on the bay block of Beach 128 Street near Beach Channel Drive, The home also housed a day care center run by his wife

Law enforcement sources say that it’s unclear how much his spouse knew of the activity occurring at the house, but relatives told The Wave that she knew nothing of what was going on in other parts of her home. During the course of the investigation, officers posing as gun customers purchased firearms, ammunition, and the cannon from the defendants, frequently at tattoo parlors both in Rockaway and Brooklyn operated by the gangs. During the transactions, which were captured on video and audio recordings, the defendants sold two AK-47 assault rifles, armor-piercing ammunition, and other highcaliber weapons, including a Tec-9 9 mm assault pistol; a Kel Tech 9 mm folding rifle; a Taurus .410-caliber revolver, known as the “Public Defender-The Judge;” and a .243-caliber rifle with night vision scope, among other munitions. The cannon, which had been positioned to aim at the door of the Forbidden Ones’ gang headquarters during meetings, was operational and capable of firing .50-caliber ammunition.

According to court filings, the gangs known as the Forbidden Ones, the Dirty Ones, and the Trouble Makers, sought to preserve and protect the power and prestige of their gangs and to enrich their members through robbery, firearms, and narcotics trafficking. Brannigan’s gang, The Forbidden Ones, operated the tattoo parlor at 91-08 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, which was also the site of gun and ammunition sales during the course of the investigation.

Brannigan is accused of smuggling the firearms from Florida to New York on several occasions. According to court filings, he is accused of traveling on three separate occasions during the investigation period, bringing back a total of at least ten firearms as well as the aforementioned cannon.

Investigators say the aging gangsters, whose members averaged 47 years old, were also frequently involved in violent acts to collect debts, defend against rival gangs, and protect their “turf.” Brannigan allegedly participated in a violent melee over an unpaid debt just last year in front of the tattoo parlor that culminated in the assault of NYPD officers, all this while under the watchful eyes of federal investigators.

One neighbor of Brannigan’s says that, in retrospect, he does remember motorcycles congregating on the block but never really thought anything of it. He did admit, however, that it was shocking to hear news such as this in what is typically a quiet and safe part of the Rockaway peninsula.

As detailed in the court filings, each defendant was a “1% patched” member of his respective motorcycle gang. The defendants wore the patch to identify themselves as “outlaws,” who reject mainstream society and live outside of the law. Four of the Forbidden Ones defendants wore a “bangout patch,” depicting two crossing handguns, which signified that the member had assaulted or engaged in one or more confrontations with law enforcement. The gang members met regularly in their respective headquarters and were heavily armed to protect against rival gangs and police intervention. Each gang also had an enforcer, tasked with ensuring that all members had ready access to firearms and explosives. Several of the defendants were frequently armed with explosives, as well as multiple firearms.

If convicted on the sole count currently charged, the defendants each face a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment.

“As set forth in the complaint, these defendants carried out their firearms dealing with no regard for the law or the safety of others. One defendant even stored the gangs’ explosive devices in his home, despite the fact that his wife ran a day care center at the same location. Proud of living outside the law, four defendants openly celebrated their prior confrontations with law enforcement. All are now confronted with the consequences of their actions. Violent biker gangs are not outside the reach of the law – no matter how many patches or tattoos they wear,” said Loretta E. Lynch, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

The charges and arrests were announced by Lynch along with Joseph Anarumo, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and NYPD Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly.

“In a targeted approach, our agents, working with NYPD, made multiple purchases of illegal firearms and ammunition, and quantities of narcotics. The culmination of this investigation results in safer streets for our city,” Anarumo said.

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