Accused Rock Hill gunrunners appear in New York court

adys@heraldonline.comDecember 13, 2013 

The prosecution of seven alleged gunrunners from Rock Hill – arrested in August in New York City’s largest-ever seizure of illegal weapons – continued Thursday in Manhattan, but little changed in the case described as the “Iron Pipeline” of weapons from South Carolina.

All of the cases were continued until Jan. 27, a spokeswoman with the clerk of court in New York said.

In August, local, state and federal police arrested 19 people, including eight from Rock Hill, after a sting involving machine guns and other weapons bought in South Carolina and North Carolina, then shipped to New York. Many of the weapons in the largest bust of illegal weapons in the city’s history came from Rock Hill.

Several members of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Unit assisted with the arrest and investigation after law enforcement started an undercover operation in 2012.

All the defendants have pleaded not guilty.

Earl Campbell, 24, of Rock Hill, is alleged to have masterminded the plot to move the guns from South Carolina to New York by bus. Campbell remains in jail without bond, according to court records, on 237 felony weapon charges. He faces life in prison if convicted of charges alleging that he sold 90 guns to an undercover officer from late 2012 through this summer for more than $75,000.

Campbell’s girlfriend, Kendall Jones, 23, also of Rock Hill, faces several felonies for her alleged role in transporting and selling the weapons, but is still in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg jail fighting extradition to New York since her arrest.

The cases originally had been under the jurisdiction of a special prosecutor in New York, but now they are being prosecuted by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, according to law enforcement officials. Many of the people who allegedly helped move and supply the guns also are charged with multiple felonies.

Also charged from Rock Hill are:

Larick Michaux, 26, who faces 49 felony weapons charges. He is in jail in New York under $1 million bond.

Warquisha “Choppers” Michaux, 28, Larick Michaux’s sister, who faces 15 charges. She is in jail in New York under $1 million bond.

Chris Hill, 24; Brandon Potts, 24; Arthur Antonio Barber, 27; and Marcel Dyess, 21, all of Rock Hill, also face charges. Dyess is serving a year in a South Carolina prison for a hit-and-run conviction.

Andrew Dys •  803-329-4065

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