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Former Detective: Tracking Down Illegal Guns In NYPD Corruption Probe Won't Be Easy

NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) --The growing New York City corruption scandal begs a scary question; where are the illegal guns allegedly put on the streets by some cops in the NYPD License Division?

Getting the legal right to carry a gun in New York City if you're not a cop is exceedingly rare, with only a few thousand permits being granted each year.

That's why it's such a shocker that 44-year-old Alex 'Shaya' Lichtenstein has been charged with bribing NYPD officials to get gun permits for people.

"We need to get guns off the street," Temi Eka told CBS2's Dave Carlin.

Lichtenstein allegedly bragged that he paid out $6,000 per permit and did it 150 times. But where are those illegally permitted guns now?

"Unfortunately we're not going to know," retired NYPD Detective Sergeant Joseph Giacalone said.

At least not in the short term, Giacalone explained.

"The correct way to do this is to go back for the last 10 years or so, and see who's been getting permits that they should have been, or not. Unfortunately this is going to be a huge undertaking, but you got to do it," he said.

Investigators identified and reassigned the officers who allegedly handled the permits. Police said every license they touched will be reviewed, and background checks will be done.

When pressed for answers about recovering the guns NYPD Chief of Department James O'Neill had no comment.

The case came to light after Lichetenstein allegedly tried to bribe an honest officer who took the matter straight to internal affairs.

Investigators said they found a case dating back to 2013, where a permit purchased with Lichtenstein's credit was used to purchase a permit that went to a man who had a lengthy criminal record.

The top-to-bottom review of the License Division is in the early stages and more arrests are expected.

Lichtenstein is out of jail on $500,000 bond. If convicted he faces up to 10 years in prison.

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