Police seized over 550 guns at two Southern California homes after receiving a tip that a convicted felon was storing “a large arsenal of firearms.”
Sixty-year-old Manuel Fernandez was arrested last week after authorities raided his Agua Dulce home, according to an LASD news release.
“This case is a testament to the community’s involvement in reducing crime and taking guns out of the hands of criminals,” said Sheriff Jim McDonnell, citing the successful raid as a positive example of the department’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign.
“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,” McDonnell said.
The Palmdale Sheriff’s Station’s Detective Bureau launched an investigation following a crime tip that a local man was in possession of a large arsenal of firearms and that he was a convicted felon.
A team of investigators that included state and federal agents served a warrant on June 14 at an Agua Dulce residence, where searchers found 432 rifles and handguns. A further investigation revealed 91 more hidden weapons.
Detectives also seized computers, cellphones, and hard drives from the residence believed to be involved in the illicit purchase of firearms by the suspect, police said.
The first warrant led investigators to a second location connected to Fernandez, where they found an additional 30 firearms.
The large number of firearms involved led detectives to enlist the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms to run traces on the weapons to discover their origins.
Fernandez was booked on a range of charges, including suspicion of being a felon in possession of firearms, a felon in possession of ammunition, and a felon in possession of large-capacity magazines.
He was released on $35,000 bail and faces a court appearance on July 9, police said.
According to the Los Angeles Times, citing sources familiar with the investigation, Fernandez is believed to be a firearms collector.