Shakor Rodriguez, a 23-year-old Bronx native studying at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., was indicted on over 300 counts of criminal sale and possession of firearms after unknowingly selling to an undercover police officer.

The Bronx District Attorney’s office announced the charges on Wednesday, detailing his operation of trafficking firearms from the South in Tennessee for sale in New York City. The college student allegedly rode the bus for days across multiple state lines, stuffing the firearms and high-capacity magazines in duffle bags.

As authorities were investigating how he obtained the weapons in Tennessee, an undercover officer reportedly kept in contact with Shakor Rodriguez and purchased 73 guns from him. 59 of the firearms were said to be loaded and cost between $1,000 to $1,500. Unknown to Shakor Rodriguez, the undercover agent investigated his operation as one of his biggest clients for over a year from July 17, 2020, to December 22, 2021.

Shakor Rodriguez sold 73 guns to an undercover police officer as they investigated his operation
Shakor Rodriguez sold 73 guns to an undercover police officer as they investigated his operation. Photo Credit: Bronx District Attorney’s Office

Many of the sales occurred at his home in the Bronx, as well as on Allen Street in Manhattan, a news release stated. He was originally arrested back on Dec. 22 as part of an investigation referred to as “Operation Overnight Express.” Authorities are still looking into how Shakor Rodriguez acquired so many firearms and high-capacity magazines.

“The NYPD worked diligently to intercept these deadly weapons before they hit our streets,” Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark told local reporters. “Bronxites are dying from gunfire and we cannot tolerate one more illegal gun in our community.”

Austin Peay State University, where Shakor goes to school, confirmed his enrollment but denied comment during the ongoing investigation. According to NBC News, Shakor Rodriguez was also a Dean’s List student, despite the time he spent traveling and selling firearms. He held at least a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Shakor was arraigned on Monday and plead not guilty to all 304 counts. His next court appearance is scheduled for Jan. 31.

Shakor Rodriguez, 23, indicted on over 300 counts of trafficking firearms from Tennessee to New York City
Shakor Rodriguez, 23, indicted on over 300 counts of trafficking firearms from Tennessee to New York City. Photo Credit: Facebook

“Stopping traffickers who flood our streets with illegal guns is mission critical in our work to smash the Iron Pipeline,” NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell said. “The NYPD’s officers, working with their prosecutorial partners in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, are the first line of defense in protecting our residents, our families, and our children from the scourge of gun violence and I commend their work in this important case.”

The indictment comes as New York City prepares to crack down on rising violence against police officers, which has even reached the attention of President Joe Biden. On Wednesday, the President announced that he would visit New York City Mayor Eric Adams to discuss strategies on curbing gun-related crimes in the city. Tensions were high after two police officers died in the same week.

According to a White House release, the administration has a “comprehensive strategy to combat gun crime, which includes historic levels of funding for cities and states to put more cops on the beat and invest in community violence prevention and intervention programs, as well as stepped up federal law enforcement efforts against illegal gun traffickers.”

While the rush to control gun violence in the city was escalated due to the death of two police officers, an officer has not been fatally shot in the line of duty in New York City since Sep. 2019.

The problem, according to the NYPD, is that there are simply too many guns on the street. State officials estimated New York will see more than 800 homicides in 2022, which would be the highest levels in 14 years.

“Taking strong action against gun violence requires a multi-faceted approach,” Governor Kathy Hochul stated, adding that the state would be planning additional “efforts to fight this public health crisis, combat gun violence, and keep New Yorkers safe.”