Authorities say a pair of gunrunners smuggled firearms into New York City by stashing weapons in their luggage on discount buses.
Walter Walker, of Sanford, NC and Earl Campbell, of Rock Hill, SC, were singled out for personally transporting the guns.
The two are among 19 people whose arrests were announced Monday.
Seven of them are from Rock Hill. The suspects went by nicknames like, "Biggie," "Zebra Girl," and "Tall Man."
The case involved 254 guns purchased by an undercover officer in 45 transactions since last year. Authorities say Campbell, the ringleader from Rock Hill, was involved in the illegal sale of at least 90 guns during 24 meetings with an undercover officer.
Authorities said Campbell and Walker typically smuggled the weapons on Chinatown-bound buses known for their cheap fares.
Investigators say once the men arrived in New York City, a middleman brokered sales for guns at three times their original value.
Some of the transactions allegedly took place in a Brooklyn recording studio. One of the studio's operators has been charged.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the majority of illegal guns found in the city come from North and South Carolina. He blames weaker gun laws for fostering the criminal activity.
Rock Hill Police say they assisted New York Police in finding the suspects. The Department is now looking at all seven to see if they could be connected to local crimes.
Copyright 2013 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.
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