“This law enforcement investigation, the service of the search warrant, seizure of weapons and arrest of suspects only helps to make our communities safer. We deserve to feel safe and have quality of life as we go about our lives. Thank you to California DOJ special agents and their local law enforcement partners for continuing to combat violence and those who commit it.” – CLSEA President Alan Barcelona
VISALIA — On June 14, 2023, California Attorney General Rob Bonta announced the arrest of two suspects in Visalia found with dozens of illegal weapons, The operation was conducted on June 6 by the Tulare County Agencies Regional Gun Violence Enforcement (TARGET) Task Force led by the California Department of Justice (DOJ), and assisted by the Visalia Police Department and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Teams.
After obtaining a search warrant, investigators recovered:
- three machine gun pistols (two of which were ghost guns),
- one ghost gun handgun,
- one handgun that was determined to be stolen,
- one AR-15 style machine gun/short-barrel ghost gun rifle,
- one AR-15 style short-barrel ghost gun rifle,
- one AK-47 style assault rifle,
- one short-barrel shotgun,
- two AR-15 style unserialized lower receiver/frames,
- four drum magazines,
- eleven large-capacity magazines,
- six standard-capacity magazines,
- approximately 650 live rounds of ammunition,
- jigs for manufacturing ghost guns,
- multiple firearms parts,
- accessories and tools used in the manufacturing of ghost guns and machine guns,
- one ounce of suspected cocaine, and evidence consistent with drug sales.
One suspect was arrested for the possession of a machine gun, manufacturing of a machine gun, possession of an unregistered assault weapon, manufacturing of an assault weapon, possession of a short-barrel rifle and shotgun, possession of a stolen handgun, manufacturing of an unserialized handgun, and criminal storage of firearms. The second suspect was arrested for possession of a machine gun, manufacturing of a machine gun, manufacturing of an unserialized handgun, possession for sales of a controlled substance, and possession of a controlled substance while armed.
This case will be submitted to the Tulare County District Attorney's Office for consideration of the applicable charges.
“Firearms built at home by individuals who have not passed a background check and have not had their guns properly serialized leave law enforcement in the dark and endanger our communities,” said Attorney General Bonta. “These arrests have made the Visalia community that much safer, thanks to the work of the special agents from the California Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners in Tulare County. My office will continue to work actively every single day to end this gun violence epidemic and keep Californians safe.”