The strike forces, including one in New York, would be led by United States attorneys who would collaborate with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, police departments and other authorities, the Justice Department said.
Audrey Strauss, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the gun trafficking operation relied on Duvaughn Wilson, the buyer in Georgia, who was charged in the indictment.
In his role as a straw purchaser, Ms. Strauss said, Mr. Wilson “pretended that he was buying guns for himself when he was, in fact, illegally buying them for the New York defendants.”
Mr. Wilson used his own name to purchase the guns from at least six licensed sellers in Georgia but signed forms attesting that he was not buying them on behalf of other people, the indictment said.
Mr. Wilson has pleaded not guilty; his lawyer declined to comment.
The indictment charged that one of the defendants placing orders for the guns, Courtney Schloss, and in many cases the people he resold them to, were members of a Brooklyn-based group of aspiring rappers known as the Blixky Gang. Mr. Schloss also pleaded not guilty; his lawyer could not be reached for comment.
Members of the group have produced music videos that appear on YouTube and other social media platforms, the indictment said. And while its members sometimes resold guns they obtained from the ring, some kept a stash of the firearms for their own use, including in the production of music videos, the government alleged.
One such video, called “Word to Folk” and made in October, was uploaded to a popular video streaming platform and showed participants holding firearms, many of which appeared to be guns bought by Mr. Wilson, the buyer in Georgia, the indictment said.