Man charged with 64 felony counts after 1,000 guns seized at Bel-Air mansion

Investigators inspect a large cache of weapons seized at a Bel-Air home in May.
Agents from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles Police Department found a large cache of weapons at a Bel-Air home in May.

A 58-year-old man with ties to the Getty family has been charged with 64 felony counts after police seized more than 1,000 guns from his Bel-Air home in May, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office said Monday.

Girard Damian Saenz is charged with 23 counts of possession of an assault weapon, 17 counts of the transfer of a handgun with no licensed firearms dealer, 15 counts of unlawful assault weapon activity, seven counts of possession of a short-barreled rifle or shotgun and two counts of possession of a destructive device.

Saenz, who was arrested in May after officials received a tip about a person illegally manufacturing and selling guns in a home in the 100 block of North Beverly Glen Boulevard, pleaded not guilty Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.


The scene was straight out of a B movie: Run-down mansion. Tony neighborhood. Anonymous tip.

May 10, 2019

California law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, transportation, importation and sale of such firearms, except in specific circumstances.

When authorities descended on the Bel-Air home owned by Los Angeles real estate mogul Cynthia Beck, who has three daughters with J. Paul Getty’s son Gordon Getty, there were AR-15 military-style automatic rifles, what appeared to be a World War II-era Thompson submachine gun, .44-caliber handguns, .357 magnum revolvers, long guns with intricately carved stocks, an Uzi 9-millimeter submachine gun — complete with a silencer — and a 9-millimeter Luger pistol.

In court documents, Saenz was identified as Beck’s longtime companion.

Prosecutors say the offenses occurred between January 2016 and May 2019. Bail for Saenz is set at $100,000. If convicted, Saenz faces up to 48 years and eight months in state prison. The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

Times staff writers Hannah Fry, Richard Winton, Sonja Sharp and Jaclyn Cosgrove contributed to this report.