A rare, expensive gun specifically designed to pierce body armor was seized during a drug arrest Thursday and may be linked to a number of recent shootings, police said after making a series of gun arrests in Central City this week.
About 4:30 p.m Thursday, an officer saw two men arguing in the 2100 block of Thalia and decided to intervene before the situation became violent, according to the incident report. One of the men, 36-year-old Gie Preston, was found to have a bag with 20 crack rocks in it and a loaded 5.7x28m FN Herstal semi-automatic, the report states.
“The firearm was learned to be a rare, expensive, 5.7 x 28mm FN Herstal semi-automatic weapon containing twenty, live 5.7 x 28mm body armored piercing rounds. The weapon shoots small, high-caliber rifle-type projectiles barely seen on the street,” writes Sixth District Task Force Sgt. Eric Gillard in the report. “The officers were also aware that shootings around the city occurred in which rare 5.7 x 28mm rifle-type casings were recovered.”
The weapon and its armor-piercing ability has been a source of controversy between gun-control activists and gun-rights advocates.
Preston was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and possession of a firearm with narcotics, jail records show. He has previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter and has several pending drug and gun cases, police said.
On Wednesday, Sixth District narcotics detectives seized three guns and a stash of heroin in a raid on the 3200 block of Second Street in the Hoffman Triangle area, they said. After a controlled drug buy at 3210 Second Street, investigators obtained a warrant to search the residence, which is located in a block “known by detectives for its heavy narcotic activity and also as an area under the stronghold of the 39’ers street gang,” wrote Sgt. Manuel Castellon in his report.
In the house, police found 24 individually packaged bags of heroin and a Hi-Point model JCP .40-caliber semi-automatic handgun, and arrested 18-year-old Kendrick Cargo on charges of possession with intent to distribute heroin, the report states. The detectives then searched the block and found two more guns, a Kahr 9mm semi-automatic handgun and a Century Arms MPS Sterling 9mm long gun with two extended magazines attached to each other for additional capacity, the report states. The NOPD Homicide Division has been alerted about the guns, because of a recent homicide in the block.
Also on Wednesday, Sixth District officers Germann and Fanguy stopped a vehicle for traffic violations at Second and Danneel and found a Walther P99 .40-caliber pistol inside that was discovered to have been stolen out of St. Bernard Parish, according to that incident report. Desmond Peters, 21, was arrested on a charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and Dwayne Johnson, 53, was arrested on a charge of possession of stolen property, jail records show. Peters was already on probation for a robbery charge until 2013, police said.