Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department has seized over 500 firearms from a resident in Agua Dulce, north of Los Angeles. The firearms seized include a large number of surplus military bolt actions, shotguns, and hunting rifles. More modern AR-15s and a large number of pistols were also found.
The firearms belong to 60-year-old Manuel Fernandez who was subsequently arrested for being a felon in possession of firearms and a felon in possession of ammunition. 432 firearms were discovered during a search of Fernandez’ property.
The firearms seized by police include a HK P7, a Walther P38, various surplus US revolvers, a TT-33, numerous Mosins, SKS’, Mannlichers, lever guns, MAS 36 & 49, various patterns of Mauser, FN-49, several AK-pattern rifles and a number of FALs, AR-15s and other Cold War surplus. Fernandez appears to have been a fairly prolific collector.
A press release from the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau stated that detectives are preparing charges for the District Attorney. Supervisor Kathryn Barger, representing Los Angeles County’s 5th District said:
The Summer Enforcement Team was funded by the Board of Supervisors for operations like this with a beneficial impact on public safety for our unincorporated communities throughout the summer months. I applaud the Palmdale Sheriff’s station, the City’s Partners Against Crime and the Department of Justice who worked in conjunction on this effective operation and massive seizure of illegal firearms.
A subsequent search of a female associate of Fernandez’ found another 30 ‘illegal firearms’. The associate was not home during the search and is currently sought by the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department. A second search of Fernandez’ home on 15 June, found another 91 firearms that had been hidden within the home, bringing the total of weapons seized up to 553.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell said:
This case is a testament to the community’s involvement in reducing crime and taking guns out of the hands of criminals. The swift response of our Palmdale Sheriff’s Station personnel and the assistance provided by our partners at the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives showed the positive result of our campaign ‘See Something, Say Something.’ We are proud of the relationship we have built in the Antelope Valley area as we continue to build trust with the communities we serve.
The large number of firearms seized means that the sheriff’s department called on the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) for assistance in tracing the purchase origination of the illegally purchased weapons. For the time being the firearms will be retained as evidence pending the cases’ court hearings. Fernandez was released on a $35,000 bond the day after his arrest.