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.
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.