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L.A. sheriff's detectives seize more than 500 firearms from felon's home

L.A. sheriff's detectives seize more than 500 firearms from felon's home
Sheriff's investigators seized more than 500 firearms from the home of a felon. (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

A search of a felon’s home in Agua Dulce led Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators to a stash of more than 500 firearms, marking one of the largest seizures from a person forbidden by law from possessing guns.

Investigators raided the home of Manuel Fernandez after getting a tip that he had an arsenal of firearms. After entering the property early Thursday, they found a staggering number of weapons, including rifles, shotguns and handguns, some decades old.

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Fernandez, 60, was arrested after the raid, during which investigators found 432 guns. A search the next day uncovered 91 firearms concealed in the house. Investigators also seized electronics used to purchase the weapons.

The investigation led detectives to a woman linked to the firearms purchases. While she was not home, detectives recovered 30 guns from her home, officials said.

“The case is a testament to the community’s involvement in reducing crime and taking guns out of the hands of criminals,” Sheriff Jim McDonnell said, citing it as a positive example of the department’s “see something, say something” campaign.

Fernandez was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms, a felon in possession of ammunition and possession of large-capacity magazines. His bail was set at $35,000, and he bonded out of jail on Friday.

The Sheriff’s Department and the California Department of Justice found so many guns that they asked the Bureau Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives for assistance. Investigators spent days checking the weapons to try to determine their history.

Sources familiar with the investigation said the owner seems to be a firearms collector as opposed to someone about to use the guns for violence.

Sheriff’s detectives plan to present a case to the district attorney’s office for prosecution, officials said.

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