LOS ANGELES – More than 1,000 guns were found Wednesday in a home in the upscale Los Angeles neighbourhood Holmby Hills.
Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Los Angeles police officers executed a search warrant in an investigation of someone suspected of manufacturing and selling
illegal firearms, Los Angeles police Officer Jeff Lee said.
The property resembled “a hoarder’s house” and it took 30 law enforcement officers more than 15 hours to clear the house and remove all the weapons, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Police also searched a home about 15 miles away, near Chinatown, the source said.
Police arrested Girard Saenz, 57, at the first house over allegations of violating California’s law regarding assault weapons and .50 Browning Machine Gun rifles, Los Angeles police Lt. Chris Ramirez said. The law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, transportation, importation and sale of any assault rifle or .50 BMG rifles, except in specific circumstances, according to the California Legislature.
Saenz posted $50,000 bail and was released Thursday morning. Details on the conditions of his release were not immediately available, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Marvin Crowder said.
The complaint that led to the arrest involved the sale of firearms, but the investigation remains ongoing, Ramirez said, and more charges, including federal counts, are possible.
Police didn’t release any more information about the arrest, but the law enforcement official said they have not found any evidence linking Saenz to terrorism.
In aerial footage from the scene, hundreds of guns are seen scattered on what appears to be blankets in the driveway. The weapons range from handguns to rifles. Police can be seen taking inventory.
ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun said in a written statement that authorities were anonymously tipped off that someone was “conducting illegal firearms transaction outside the scope of the federal firearm license” that the suspect possesses. Along with the weapons, firearm manufacturing equipment and tools were also found at the home.
In 2015, Los Angeles police seized 1,200 guns, seven tons of ammunition and $230,000 in cash from a home. The owner had died of natural causes and was found in his SUV. At that time it was considered one of the largest seizures of weapons from one home, Los Angeles police said. (CNN)
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