Ghost gun builder on Upper East Side busted through family picture of his son holding weapons: Bragg


If one picture is worth a thousand words, this photo might be worth 25 years in prison for an alleged Upper East Side ghost gun builder.

The suspect — Cory Davis, 41 — wound up in handcuffs after authorities obtained a family photo of his 7-year-old son holding two of the illegal weapons, according to Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg.

Davis faces first-, second- and third-degree weapons possession charges, and 14 counts of criminal possession of a firearm in a lengthy indictment announced Monday. A conviction on a first-degree criminal possession of a weapon charge may result in a prison sentence of up to 25 years.

During a search of his Upper West Side apartment earlier this month, prosecutors said, police found a dozen “ghost guns” as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition. The NYPD and prosecutors across the city have been dropping the hammer of late on builders, buyers, manufacturers and dealers of ghost guns — untraceable makeshift firearms sold in do-it-yourself assembly kits often sold on the internet with little to no regulation.

“The allegations make it evident that by manufacturing these weapons, Davis put not only the public, but a child in serious peril,” said Bragg in a Nov. 28 statement. “Using one’s child as a prop to showcase homemade, illegal weapons is inexcusable and extremely dangerous. The proliferation of ghost guns in our city cannot continue.”

According to court records, on Nov. 7, Davis allegedly sent a photo of his 7-year-old son holding two ghost guns to individuals in a family and friends group chat. One recipient of the photo then alerted police and sent them the image, triggering a fast investigation.

Officers from the 19th Precinct located Davis in a separate apartment that he used as an office, where they found two guns and ammunition on the ground, prosecutors said.

Then, on Nov. 8, police executed a court-authorized search of Davis’ resident, where they found 12 more ghost guns — 10 semi-automatic pistols and two assault weapon-style pistols — and more than 400 live rounds of ammunition, including two dozen magazines. Tools and parts used to build the ghost guns were also located.

Upon further investigation, police learned that Davis had been buying the ghost gun parts and related accessories from various websites since June 2020. His online purchasing history included an array of other firearm-related buys, from training tools and simulators to even concealable holsters, Bragg noted.

“Stopping the proliferation of ghost guns is integral to the NYPD’s comprehensive strategy to keep these illegal weapons from harming our communities,” said Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell on Monday. “These untraceable weapons shoot real bullets, hurt real New Yorkers, and cause real harm – and our fight against them will continue with vigor.”