An East Rockaway man was arraigned on Wednesday on multiple weapons possession charges for allegedly stockpiling an arsenal of ghost guns in his home.
Thomas Saxton, 34, was arraigned before Judge Terence Murphy on 10 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon, 14 counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and seven counts of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. He was remanded and is due back in court on June 24.
If convicted of the top charge, Saxton faces a potential maximum of 15 years in prison.
“The defendant is accused of stockpiling an arsenal of ghost guns and high-capacity magazines in his East Rockaway home,” District Attorney Anne Donnelly said, according to a release. “The volume of firearms seized in Nassau County this year is unlike anything we’ve seen in recent memory. We will use every tool at our disposal and collaborate with every federal and local partner to stem the flow of these illegal weapons into Nassau County.”
Messages for Greg Madey, Esq., the attorney representing Saxton, were not returned on Friday.
On Feb. 17, members of the New York City Police Department responded to Cohen Children’s Medical Center in Queens for an alleged domestic disturbance. The defendant allegedly possessed a handgun and threatened to kill his wife.
During the course of the investigation into the alleged Queens crime, it was discovered that additional weapons were located in Saxton’s East Rockaway home. Members of the Nassau County Police Department responded to the home and recovered seven ghost gun handguns; two assault rifles, one of which was a ghost gun; more than 60 high-capacity magazines; ammunition; and ghost gun parts.
According to the New York City Police Department, Saxton, who lives on Baisley Avenue in East Rockaway, threatened to open fire inside Cohen Children’s Medical Center, on the border of Queens and Nassau County. Police said they later found a cache of guns, ammunition and bulletproof vests at his home and in his car.
The NYPD received a call at around noon on Feb. 17, alerting officers that Saxton had pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot his wife inside the hospital as she held their daughter. In an email to the Herald, NYPD spokeswoman Sophia Mason described the incident.
“Upon arrival, responding officers obtained a description of the subject’s car and encountered the vehicle outside of the hospital,” she wrote. “A 34-year-old male was arrested and multiple loaded firearms were recovered.”
In a statement, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said that in Saxton’s car, officers discovered two loaded “ghost guns,” untraceable firearms that are constructed out of parts purchased online. After the discovery, they took Saxton into custody. Police also discovered additional weapons and ammo when they searched his home in the village.
“This defendant allegedly threatened to shoot his wife in a hospital that specializes in treating children,” Katz said. “This potentially deadly threat was made all the more frightening when police found illegal and untraceable firearms on the defendant. This growing prevalence of ‘ghost guns’ is adding to the chaos and bloodshed in our neighborhoods. My office will continue to do everything possible to stop the flow of these and all illegal firearms. The defendant has been apprehended and now faces very serious charges.”
According to Katz, after pulling the gun out and threatening to shoot his wife, Saxton told her that he would kill her in front of all the people at the hospital. He then walked out of the hospital and called her on her phone, threatening her again and telling her he would kill her in her sleep. When police arrived, Saxton allegedly dropped a loaded magazine on the ground in the hospital’s parking lot, and police recovered a loaded 10mm pistol, a 9 mm pistol and ammunition for both firearms, as well as a plastic bag containing cocaine and Saxton’s wallet.
In January, the NCDA created the Firearms Suppression and Intelligence Unit, which comprises four prosecutors with extensive training in firearms and narcotics, as well as two specialized detective investigators with decades of experience in long-term weapons investigations, and an intelligence analyst.
So far this year, about 70 weapons have been seized in Nassau County. In the same time period last year, about 114 weapons were seized.
The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Laube of the Narcotics, Firearms and Gangs Bureau.
The charges are accusations and Saxton is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty.