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Former federal prisoner indicted for selling firearms, components from prison

By Mike Heuer
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. on Tuesday announced the indictment and arrest of Hayden Espinosa for allegedly using contraband cell phones and a Telegram account to sell illegal guns and gun parts while serving time in a federal prison in Louisiana. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. on Tuesday announced the indictment and arrest of Hayden Espinosa for allegedly using contraband cell phones and a Telegram account to sell illegal guns and gun parts while serving time in a federal prison in Louisiana. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

June 11 (UPI) -- A former federal prisoner allegedly sold illegal firearms and components to an undercover New York City police officer while incarcerated, according to an indictment announced Tuesday.

The New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan recently indicted Hayden Espinosa, 24, on four counts of transport of a firearm, machine gun, silencer, disguised gun and on one count of attempted criminal sale of a firearm in the third degree.

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Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. announced the indictment of Espinosa on Tuesday.

Espinosa, of Corpus Christi, Texas, allegedly used the Telegram mobile app to create a channel he named "3D Amendment" through which he sold illegal firearms and parts by using cell phones smuggled into prison, Bragg said.

"Espinosa and others promoted racially and ethnically motivated extremist views in the Telegram channel, which attracted individuals who stockpiled firearms and committed violence," Bragg said.

Bragg said Espinosa "sold guns and gun parts by using contraband electronic devices" and "operated a Telegram channel that is a hub of ethnically and racially motivated extremist ideology."

The alleged gun parts include a sear conversion that converts a semi-automatic Glock pistol into an automatic firearm.

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While imprisoned for illegally selling and possessing Glock switches in 2022, Espinosa allegedly communicated with Payton Gendron, the alleged Buffalo mass shooter, who is a self-professed "eco-fascist national socialist and ethno-nationalist" and anti-Semite who targeted Blacks during his mass shooting at the Tops supermarket in Buffalo.

"The combination of extremism and firearms is incredibly dangerous and threatens the safety of so many New Yorkers," Bragg said.

Espinosa was released from federal prison in Louisiana on June 4 and immediately was arrested by the Grant Parish Sheriff's Department for the New York indictment.

He has an arraignment hearing scheduled June 24.

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