The Hamas-loving former teacher at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School who was busted for running guns was caught in several audio and video tapes saying he wanted to send weapons to help Middle East terror organizations, prosecutors said Wednesday as he was arraigned on an 84-count indictment.
Theophilus Burroughs -- who authorities say sold a dozen guns to undercover operatives over the course of a year -- whispered his not guilty plea before Supreme Court Judge Steven Barrett Wednesday afternoon. His charges include criminal sale of firearms, tax fraud and money laundering.
"He expressed his desire for the weapons to be shipped to agents in Hamas," said Assistant District Attorney Graham Van Epps, citing Burroughs' belief he was selling guns to be used by Middle East terror groups.
A total of 15 people, including Burroughs, were indicted in the sting set up to catch people buying illegal untaxed cigarettes. Another three people were arrested but have not yet been indicted.
Burroughs, 49, of Newark, N.J., told an informant he wanted to get a "groove" going between Hamas and his connections in South Carolina, Van Epps said.
Burroughs allegedly showed up with $30,000 at his takedown Tuesday night at the address authorities used for the undercover operation.
More guns and another $73,000 were uncovered during a raid on his home, Van Epps said.
Despite Burroughs praising terror groups Hamas and Hezbollah, Steven Reed, spokesman for the Bronx District Attorney's office said, "While there overtones of interest in a terrorist group, which we looked into, ultimately we found no proof of a terrorist connection."