Manhattan doorman, three others cuffed in major interstate gun smuggling ring

In between welcoming guests and receiving mail, a Manhattan doorman allegedly used his post to traffic in and sell illegal firearms as part of a gun smuggling ring, prosecutors and police announced Tuesday.

Police said Roberto Carmona, 51, and three out-of-state suspects were indicted for the scheme following an NYPD investigation that led to the seizure of more than 80 firearms — including 63 semi-automatic pistols, 11 revolvers, two assault rifles, one sawed-off shotgun and one shotgun, along with 26 rounds of ammunition.

According to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. and police officials, Carmona allegedly used his position as a front to sell numerous weapons where he worked at West 55th Street as well as from his home in Morningside Heights. He allegedly worked with three Tennessee-based suspects — identified as Harold Floran, Alan Goode, and Melvyn McDonald — who allegedly helped sell the 80 guns and ammunition to an undercover NYPD detective.

Vance and Police Commissioner Dermot Shea showed off the seized weaponry to the media at a conference in One Police Plaza Tuesday morning. For Shea, the operation wasn’t just about catching four people involved in illegal arms deals — it’s about preventing those weapons from being used in violent crime, including murder.

Assault rifles, shotguns, and snipe rifles were among those on display. Photo by Dean Moses
Handguns great and small. Photo by Dean Moses

“I don’t see guns on this table, I see victims. I see kids gunned down in the street. I see mothers standing at funerals,” Shea said, thanking his team.

For over a year, members of the Firearms Investigators Unit and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office have been utilizing undercover detectives, court-ordered wiretaps, surveillance and a wide range of field intelligence, cultivating a host of evidence that led to an indictment. 

Undercover officers had 15 transactions with the traffickers from January until September, where guns were sold from $500-$3,700 per weapon.

“Roberto Carmona allegedly used his job as a doorman to operate a highly illegal, one-man gun show out of the Midtown building where he worked—storing ammunition in his locker and selling multiple deadly weapons outside,” Vance said. “He is also accused of bringing his work home with him, selling dozens of guns outside the Morningside Heights building where he lives.”

Manhattan District Attorney, Cy Vance looks down at the guns. Photo by Dean Moses

According to Vance, Carmona received the majority of his gun supply — the weapons he is accused of selling to undercover detectives — from Floran. It is alleged that the two other defendants, Alan Goode and Melvyn McDonald, purchased the guns from Tennessee-based gun stores.

Carmona then drove to meet with the sellers in Tennessee, Virginia, and New Jersey to pick up these weapons.

Additionally, investigators were able to make a connection to the gun’s Floran sold to the murder of Darnell Brown in April 2020 on 101st Street and 1st Avenue, where Sterling Stewart purchased the Tennessee-based gun to commit the crime.

Vance says that this group faces a flurry of charges — 141 criminal counts in all — including fourth-degree conspiracy, criminal sale of firearms in the first-, second-, and third-degrees, as well as others. The highest felony charge, criminal sale of a firearm in the first degree alone carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

Detectives seized over 80 firearms. Photo by Dean Moses

Still, Vance looked at the broader picture of the country’s problem with illegal firearms.

“Our country has absolutely failed, from a legislative perspective, to do what it needs to do to prevent guns like these from so easily flowing from other states into New York and unfortunately killing or injuring our neighbors, but today’s indictment is the latest effort by our office and the NYPD to do something about it in the way that we can,” Vance said, adding that the conference would be his last as District Attorney.

Vance says that New York state legislatures need to strengthen gun laws, so that the penalties for selling a large amount of weapons are treated with more severity.  He believes harsher punishment will deter out-of-state traffickers like those in this case, and is pushing for the Gun Kingpin bill.

Police officials said the investigation was a large operation. Photo by Dean Moses
Shea prized detectives for their work. Photo by Dean Moses