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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Man Indicted for Selling Firearms, Gun Parts from Federal Prison Following HSI New York Investigation

Man Indicted for Selling Firearms, Gun Parts from Federal Prison Following HSI New York Investigation

Release Date: June 12, 2024

Hayden Espinosa allegedly sold firearms and gun parts through extremist Telegram channel

NEW YORK — A Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York investigation, in coordination with law enforcement partners, has resulted in the indictment of Hayden Espinosa, 24, for selling illegal firearms and components to an undercover New York Police Department (NYPD) officer while incarcerated in federal prison. Espinosa allegedly sold and advertised these items through the 3D Amendment Telegram channel, which he moderated.

Espinosa, of Corpus Christi, Texas, allegedly operated the Telegram channel to sell the illegal guns and gun parts, using cellphones that were smuggled into the prison. Espinosa and others allegedly promoted racially and ethnically motivated extremist views in the Telegram channel, which attracted individuals who stockpiled firearms and committed violence.

Espinosa was released from federal prison in Louisiana on June 4 and was immediately arrested by the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office on the New York State Supreme Court indictment. He is expected to be arraigned in New York on June 24. He is charged with four counts of transporting a firearm and one count of third-degree attempting to sell a firearm.

The case was coordinated in partnership with the NYPD Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division’s Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism Unit, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

“Hayden Espinosa is accused of brazenly dealing firearms even while confined within the four walls of a federal penitentiary. He allegedly sold illicit guns and accessories through a clandestine chatgroup known for its affiliation with neo-Nazism and other racially motivated extremism. At a time when gun violence has devastated American families throughout the country, there’s no telling the bloodshed these weapons could have caused if placed in the wrong hands," said HSI New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo. "I commend the outstanding investigative work of the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the NYPD, the ATF and USPIS for their unending commitment to keeping New Yorkers safe."

Gun part allegedly sold by Espinosa

According to the investigation, in approximately May 2022, the NYPD’s Racially and Ethnically Motivated Extremism Unit discovered Espinosa was operating a Telegram channel called 3D Amendment with the username “Treason 3DA.” Espinosa and other members of the channel advertised the sale of illegal firearms and gun parts, including silencers, high-capacity magazines, Glock-style handguns and auto sears. An auto sear is a rapid-fire modification device that can transform a semiautomatic firearm into a machine gun. Several people purchased firearms and parts from Espinosa and posted about the purchases in his channel.

Group chat with Espinosa and censored photo of an individual wearing an armband emblazoned with the Nazi Hakenkreuz.

In December 2022, Espinosa was sentenced to prison at the Federal Correctional Complex-Pollock in Louisiana for federal crimes following an investigation involving HSI Corpus Christi.

While serving his federal sentence, Espinosa continued to sell illegal firearms and parts through his channel by using contraband cellphones. On at least three separate dates, Espinosa sold and attempted to sell items to an undercover NYPD officer.

On Aug. 7, 2023, Espinosa sold two auto sears, one for a Glock-style handgun and one, which was 3D-printed, for an AR-style rifle to an undercover police officer. Approximately three weeks later, he attempted to sell a Glock-19 handgun to the officer. On Nov. 13, 2023, he sold two firearm silencers to the officer.

The investigation alleges that members of Espinosa’s channel were motivated by neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideologies and accelerationism, a belief that violence — including through obtaining firearms and weapons — is necessary to totally collapse the status quo and create a new extreme-right sociopolitical reality. Accelerationism is a part of racially and ethnically motivated extremism, a movement that supports a combination of racist, antisemitic, xenophobic, misogynistic and homophobic ideology.

In addition to selling illegal firearms and components, Espinosa also posted content on Telegram and his YouTube channel, which promoted white supremacist, neo-Nazi and anti-government extremist ideologies.

“While in federal prison, Hayden Espinosa allegedly sold guns and gun parts by using contraband electronic devices,” said Manhattan District Attorney Alvin L. Bragg Jr. “Furthermore, we alleged Espinosa operated a Telegram channel that is a hub of ethnically and racially motivated extremist ideology. The combination of extremism and firearms is incredibly dangerous and threatens the safety of so many New Yorkers. A hallmark of our approach to combating gun violence is partnering with our law enforcement partners, and this case involved cooperation at the local, state and federal level. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to stop the flow of illegal weapons into our city.”

“I applaud our investigators for their commitment to cases like this because detecting and preventing tragedies before they occur is exactly why we formed our REME unit, the first of its kind based in a municipal police department,” said NYPD Commissioner Edward A. Caban. “Its existence underscores the urgency with which the NYPD and our law enforcement partners view the threat from far-right extremists. We will stop at nothing to keep New Yorkers safe by identifying and dismantling gun trafficking networks that are feeding the hate.”

“As alleged, Mr. Espinosa brazenly ran a criminal enterprise while incarcerated, foolishly thinking he could covertly use the U.S. mail to facilitate the illegal sale of guns and gun parts. However, when criminals use the mail for illicit activities, postal inspectors will shine a spotlight on their crimes. Postal inspectors and our law enforcement partners will continue to investigate, identify and arrest those who wantonly endanger our communities through the sale of illegal guns and other contraband. I commend our postal inspectors and our partners in the NYPD, HSI, ATF and Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for their tireless commitment to taking illegal firearms off the streets of New York City,” said USPIS Inspector in Charge of the New York Division Daniel B. Brubaker.

“This investigation speaks to the power of collaboration across agencies, boundaries and jurisdictions. The agents and officers worked tirelessly to identify and disrupt this illegal trafficking scheme stopping its flow of illegal machineguns and other firearms into our community,” said Special Agent in Charge of ATF New York Bryan Miller.

Last Updated: 06/12/2024
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