On May 20th, 2020

California DOJ Special Agents Seize Ghost Guns, Assault Weapons, Drugs, and Tens of Thousands of Rounds of Ammunition

Seized in Turlock

SACRAMENTO – On May 19, 2020 California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced 12 operations throughout the state where special agents with the California Department of Justice seized dozens of firearms, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, ghost guns, assault weapons, and drugs over the last month.

“Special agents carried out their very important job of keeping us safe, even during the pandemic,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona.  “They contacted people known to have firearms when, by law, they shouldn’t and served search warrants in an effort to make us and this state safer.”

In all of the operations, investigators obtained critical information as a result of ammunition background checks. Ammunition background checks are the result of Proposition 63, which was passed by an overwhelming majority of Californians in 2016 in order to keep ammunition out of the hands of violent criminals and other prohibited persons.

As a result of the law, more than 750 prohibited individuals were stopped from illegally purchasing ammunition largely over the second half of last year alone.

In California, the Armed and Prohibited Persons System (APPS) database identifies individuals who are prohibited from legally owning firearms. In general, prohibited persons in APPS include individuals who were convicted of a felony or violent misdemeanor, were placed under a domestic violence or other restraining order, or suffer from serious mental illness.

“Gun violence is the last thing our communities and children should have to fear during a public health crisis,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Background checks can save lives and DOJ’s firearms operations help make that happen. At the California Department of Justice, we’ll keep doing our part to keep firearms out of the hands of violent and dangerous individuals. Even in these extraordinary times, our special agents and law enforcement partners across the state continue to put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe.”

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the California Department of Justice remains committed to protecting Californians and has closed more than 400 APPS cases. As a result of the operations announced today, special agents executed 12 felony search warrants and seized:

  • 51 firearms, including four assault weapons and two ghost guns;
  • 123 magazines, including 33 large-capacity magazines;
  • 28,518 rounds of ammunition; and
  • 120 grams of methamphetamine and heroin.

The results of the operations, which took place across the state with support from numerous local authorities, are as follows:

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

Turlock: On May 14, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Turlock Police Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Fernando Gallego. Gallego had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one handgun, one shotgun, one bolt action rifle, one standard magazine, and 1,230 rounds of ammunition. A subsequent search yielded a second shotgun.

Seized in Pioneer

Pioneer: On May 13, California Department of Justice special agents and deputies with the Amador County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at the residence of Robert Carlson. As a result, officers seized three handguns, one ghost gun assault rifle, one polymer AR-15 ghost gun lower receiver and drill jig, three shotguns, 12 large-capacity magazines, 16 standard magazines, and approximately 6,772 rounds of ammunition, as well as approximately 114 grams of methamphetamine and 2 grams of heroin. Investigators obtained additional information about Carlson after he allegedly attempted to make a straw purchase of ammunition through his associate Serena Wright. As a result of the search warrant, Bobby Miller, another associate, and Carlson were arrested. This case has been referred to the Amador County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Seized in Auburn

Auburn: On May 7, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Placer County Sheriff’s Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Aage Krepper. Krepper had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of three firearms, one lower receiver, 21 standard magazines, one large-capacity magazine, and 15,400 rounds of ammunition. A subsequent consent search of Krepper’s parent’s residence yielded three additional firearms.

Fairfield: On May 1, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Fairfield Police Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Henry Bui. Bui had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of five handguns, one unregistered assault rifle, 14 standard magazines, and 302 rounds of ammunition. A photo of the seizure is available here.

Carmichael: On April 22, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Jeramie Mendoza. Investigators obtained additional information about Mendoza after he and his girlfriend Tracy Williams both recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one handgun. A photo of the seizure is available here.

Seized in Oakland

Oakland: On April 22, California Department of Justice special agents executed a search warrant at the residence of Anton Konevski. Konevski had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one handgun, four magazines, and 96 rounds of ammunition, as well as two grams of heroin. Konevski was arrested at the scene and his case was referred to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Grass Valley: On April 17, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Nevada County Sheriff’s Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Michael Keeffe. Keeffe had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one handgun, 17 magazines, and 2,000 rounds of ammunition. A subsequent consent search of an associate’s residence yielded an additional five handguns, one assault rifle, and five standard rifles. A photo of the seizure is available here.

Oakdale: On April 14, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Oakdale Police Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Glen Holtham. Holtham had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one handgun, one lower receiver, one standard magazine, assault rifle parts, 358 rounds of ammunition, as well as one gram of methamphetamine. A photo of the seizure is available here.

Seized in Lancaster

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Lancaster: On May 11, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Rene Navas. Navas had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of three handguns, four rifle lower receivers, 12 large-capacity magazines, 13 standard magazines, and approximately 2,115 rounds of ammunition.

Moreno Valley: On May 7, California Department of Justice special agents executed a search warrant at the residence of Carrickie Sirithongdy. Sirithongdy had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one unregistered assault weapon, two large-capacity magazines, one standard magazine, and approximately 200 rounds of ammunition. Investigators had to gain entry to a gun safe in a bedroom closet after Sirithongdy failed to provide the combination. A photo of the seizure is available here.

Woodland Hills: On May 4, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Emily Correro. Correro had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one handgun and two standard magazines. A photo of the seizure is available here.

Seized in Bakersfield

Bakersfield: On April 23, California Department of Justice special agents, with assistance from the Bakersfield Police Department, executed a search warrant at the residence of Roger Witt. Witt had recently attempted to purchase ammunition. The search resulted in the confiscation of one handgun, six large-capacity magazines, and 45 rounds of ammunition, as well as one gram of methamphetamine.

 

 

 

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