Ghost Gun Crackdown Nets Four Indictments and Removes 13 Guns From Streets of Rockland

Rockland County District Attorney Thomas E. Walsh II announced the indictments of 4 Rockland residents for illegally possessing “ghost guns”,  illegally possessed firearms that are often untraceable. The operation also resulted in the seizure of thre handguns and 10 assault rifles, all illegal to possess in New York State. These indictments were a direct result of a major multi-agency investigation, overseen by the Special Investigative Unit of the
Rockland County District Attorney’s Office.

The following individuals were indicted by a Rockland County Grand Jury:
Vandara Nguon, 34, of Pomona,NY
• 2 counts of: Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd – Assault Weapon, Penal Law 265.02 (7)
Frank Wachausen, 55, of Nanuet,NY
• 3 counts of: Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd – Assault Weapon, Penal Law 265.02 (7)
• 1 count Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Penal Law 265.01-b(1)
Fisnik Bajraktaraj, 35, of Congers, NY
• 1 count Criminal Possession of a Weapon 2nd, Penal Law 265.03(3)
• 2 counts of: Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd – Assault Weapon, Penal Law 265.02 (7)
Joseph Montenero, 30, of Congers, NY
• 1 count Criminal Possession of a Weapon 3rd – Assault Weapon, Penal Law 265.02 (7)
• 1 count Criminal Possession of a Firearm, Penal Law 265.01-b(1)

On February 16, 2022, a large-scale law enforcement operation, involving 12 local, county and federal agencies, executed 3 search warrants throughout Rockland County without incident. As a result of the operation a total of 13 illegal firearms were seized and four suspects taken into custody. Two of the recovered firearms did not contain a serial number. The suspects were arrested, processed and all firearms secured as evidence. The investigation is still ongoing.

Since January 2020 to present day, Rockland County police agencies have investigated over 60 shootings/ shot fired calls within the borders of the county.
The Clarkstown Police Department, Ramapo Police Department, Town of Haverstraw Police, Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, Westchester County Police Department, Homeland Security Investigations, Federal Bureau of Investigation Safe Streets Unit, Customs and Border Patrol, United States Secret Service, United States Postal Inspector, Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives all cooperated in the investigation.

“The indictments announced today are only the beginning of the continual pursuit from this office to remove illegal firearms off our streets. Rockland County must not and will not tolerate over 60 cases in the last 2 years of bullets flying throughout the air in our community. The highly effective results of this operation would not have been possible without the participation of many highly trained law enforcement agencies. On behalf of the residents of Rockland County, I thank each and every one of them.” said District Attorney Thomas E. Walsh II.

Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) New York Acting Special Agent in Charge Ricky J. Patel said: “Anytime an illegally owned gun is removed from the street, it undoubtedly makes our communities safer. Today’s indictment of four defendants was part of a large-scale, joint investigation that also resulted in the seizure of a cache of weapons, including 13 guns, 10 of which were assault rifles. It is vital that law enforcement utilizes every tool in our arsenal to bring to justice those who attempt to circumvent the law by acquiring illegally owned weapons, especially those without serial numbers, commonly known as ‘Ghost Guns.’ The relationship forged between HSI New York and the Rockland County District Attorney’s Office has been critical in stemming the flow of illegally owned weapons in Rockland County and ensuring that ‘Ghost Guns’ are removed from the streets along with the criminals who possess them.”