The feds have charged a Staten Island man for allegedly selling more than a dozen AK-47s and an anti-tank rocket launcher in Kosovo.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York announced Wednesday that Albert Veliu is among eight defendants charged with money laundering, extortion, and international arms trafficking. They were expected to be arraigned Wednesday afternoon.
Veliu was allegedly caught on a wiretap arranging the arms deal. He referred to the assault rifles as “sneakers,” and the M80 Zolja Anti-Tank Rocket Launcher equipped with a 64 millimeter rocker as a “Shaq-sized sneaker,” according to authorities.
The arms deal is tied to an arrangement defendants made to settle a mob extortion debt, officials said. The defendants reportedly laundered about $800,000 in drug money.
Federal agents used wiretaps and confidential informants to catch the crooks, authorities said.
Veliu told a DEA informant that he had a gun connection in Kosovo, and then brokered the weapons deal, officials said. Kosovo cops executed search warrants nabbing more weapons, ammunition and more than $600,000 in cash.