Rare gun seized in drug arrest may be linked to recent shootings

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Three guns seized in a raid at 3210 Second Street. (via NOPD)

Gie Z. Preston (via opcso.org)

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.

Kendrick Cargo (via opcso.org)

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.

Desmond Peters (via opcso.org)

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.

15 thoughts on “Rare gun seized in drug arrest may be linked to recent shootings

  1. While the FNH handgun is capable of piercing body armor, it requires specialty ammunition which I believe is currently unavailable to civilians in order to consistently do so. A 9mm or .45 caliber handgun causes much more damage and is more dangerous.

    • Thank you Donald for pointing this out. This handgun was originally designed for, and to the specifications of, NATO. The specifications included the ability to pierce body armor. This ability is a feature of the specific cartridge and not of the gun itself. That version of the ammunition is only available to military and law enforcement. Actually, the standard issue cartridges for this handgun are considered to be “safer” with regards to collateral damage because the projectile is also designed to prevent overpenetration and ricochet.

      So you are correct Donald. This handgun in the context of civilian use is less dangerous than the others you mentioned.

      Also worth pointing out is that none of the firearms pictured (those from the 3210 2nd street raid) are the rare gun mentioned in the article (which was from 2100 Thalia). This is to say that not even the “scary” looking long gun in the picture is the “armor piercing” weapon, which is a rather normal looking handgun.

  2. So why on Earth would gun-rights activists think this gun is okay to have on the streets? Do they contend that deer wear kevlar? Whether the ammo is easy to acquire or not is irrelevant. Gun rights people need to get their heads out of their a’s and start using the brains they were born with.

    • The second amendment is not about hunting. It’s about our right to protect our selves/family/property against tyranny of any sort.

    • Because you’re a moron? There is no such thing as an “armor piercing gun.” The piercing of armor or such is done by the ammunition. There is on particular cartridge for the Five-seveN that is capable of piercing armor and I will guarantee and even bet large sums of money that this idiot thug did NOT have those cartridges. They are highly controlled and just about impossible to get. The 5.7×28 is not anything close to being considered a “high caliber rifle.” It is in fact quite small. The only reason the weapon its self is some what rare is because it is relatively new and rather expensive. Now, is there a reason that blind gun grabbers think it’s okay to write wildly inaccurate and totally ignorant stories like this without doing the first shred of fact checking?

  3. Sid I can answer that question for you. It’s because gun right “activists” know more about guns that reporters or most Law Enforcement do. That gun is not more deadly than just about anything you see out there. Some call them “cop killer” bullets
    The rounds that they are talking about are restricted and the public can’t buy them.

    Ask WAFB in Baton Rouge and the Walker Police Dept. about it. A few years ago they reported the same kind of “cop killer” bullet story and got flooded with calls and corrected the story.

  4. This is a textbook example of media fearmongering regarding guns, rather than doing the ethically appropriate research to maintain journalistic integrity. A simple Wikipedia search or a question posted on any number of gun forums would have cleared up for the author that the FiveseveN is, in almost all hands, NOT an armor piercing weapon. However, when it comes to firearms, the media is content to either take local police at their word or simply make things up. For what other subject does the media find such journalistic laziness appropriate? This is the sort of standard that shows a picture of U.S. troops with M4A1s and captions it “Soldiers with AK-47s”.

    • LS, I believe you may have misread the article. It does not refer to the gun as an “armor-piercing weapon.” It mentions that the gun was designed to pierce body armor, which is a specification in the design of the weapon mentioned in that simple Wikipedia search, among other places.
      It later refers to the weapon’s “armor-piercing ability” as the subject of controversy.

      But, based on your comments and others, I went back to the original report (“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 armor piercing rounds.”). It actually turns out that the gun was loaded with the armor piercing rounds. Since this appears to be a crucial detail to you, I’ve updated the article to include that line. Thanks for pointing it out.

      It sounds like you know more about “media fearmongering” than I do, but I would guess that most textbook examples of that would mention the offending information (armor-piercing, cop-killing, etc) in the headline. The headline reflects the emphasis and majority of this article, however — that guns were taken off the street with unusual characteristics that may help solve shooting and homicide cases.

        • Remind me again about the complaint with the article?

          It was an article about a series of guns that were seized of unusual manufacture that could be linked to other crimes — as you and others note, “good police work.”

          There are a group of commenters, however, who wanted to argue that one particular gun was “safer” or “less dangerous” than the 9mm weapons because it couldn’t possibly have the armor-piercing cartridges, which are “restricted” and “not available to civilians.” The type of rounds the gun was loaded with were not mentioned in the article, and I can’t imagine why anyone would want to assume what kind it was loaded with — unless they were trying to make a political argument that overlooks the facts. But I digress.

          When this ammunition red herring was raised, I went back to the original report, and found that the gun was indeed allegedly loaded with these supposedly unobtainable rounds. Because the self-professed gun experts in the comments were interested in it, I went back and placed that detail in the article. Now I’m being told that the ammunition is irrelevant after all.

          I’ll point out that the fact that this gun was loaded with the hard-to-buy rounds should not be surprising. Sadly, there are usually more guns stolen in the NOPD Second and Sixth districts every week than there are seized. Many, many times they are being stolen out of unlocked cars. During the rash of car burglaries at Audubon Park, in fact, one quality of life officer found a car parked there unlocked with a gun inside, and waited for the jogger to come back to point it out to him. In other words, criminals are getting these guns off of civilians without even trying. While we don’t how this particular gun made it to the street, the fact that a rare, expensive or hard-to-find weapon did so is probably more common than we’d think.

          Part of the point of this article that ought not be overlooked is that last week, it looks like the officers of the Sixth District reversed that trend, taking five guns off the street in a week when I don’t recall any being stolen. Let’s not allow the mere mention of a controversial weapon distract us from that.

  5. This whole thing is incredibly STUPID, especially the part about the “armor piercing”.

    FYI, any of our regular deer & elk rifles will go right through “body armor”; and out the other side of both layers..

    None of us seek “armor piercing” anything. The armor never was “bullet-proof”, as other imbeciles have claimed. It was never intended to be “bullet proof”, either. The hope is the armor may stop some regular handgun rounds, and, it occasionally does that. If it were really “bullet-proof”, it would be so heavy that the officers probably couldn’t walk while wearing it.

    I have a bettter idea: Why don’t these geniuses just quit shooting at our officers, to begin with ? Or, why don’t we have public beheadings of those who do shoot at officers ? Maybe that would make them think first !

    If the author doesn’t understand what is going on, he should consult someone with more knowledge before publishing something like this.


  6. Why is it that guns are the topic. Any guns in the hands of convicted felons slinging drugs should be the question. Let me say this again “convicted felons in possession of a firearm slinging dope? No sense discussing what type of guns. They are freakin guns. Convicted criminals should not have them.

    The Second Amendment has a purpose to give citizens to protect your self from thugs and the government. Do you really think our government is kept in check because of the bill of rights.

    Good job NOPD! Nothing like good police work.

  7. Wasn’t the point that the ammo is somewhat unusual, and therefore since it has been seen at other incidents around town, the cops may have a lead to link the aforementioned bad guys to other crimes? Mr Preston is a previously convicted killer and drug dealer. I don’t think he is planning on defending the homeland from tyranny with his gun. After all, he was stupid enough to commit his crimes using a gun and ammo that no one else has.

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