More than 1,000 guns were found in a home in the upscale Los Angeles neighborhood of Holmby Hills, but authorities said there was no indication they were used in crimes.
“At this time, there is no indication they were, but that could change as the investigation continues,” Ginger Colbrun, spokeswoman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said Thursday. Authorities will trace all the weapons, she said.
ATF agents and Los Angeles police officers on Wednesday executed a search warrant in an investigation of someone suspected of manufacturing and selling illegal firearms, Los Angeles police Officer Jeff Lee said.
The property resembled “a hoarder’s house” and it took 30 law enforcement officers more than 15 hours to clear the house and remove all the weapons, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Police also searched a home about 15 miles away, near Chinatown, the source said.
Police arrested Girard Saenz, 57, at the first house over allegations of violating California’s law regarding assault weapons and .50 Browning Machine Gun rifles, Los Angeles police Lt. Chris Ramirez said. The law prohibits the manufacture, distribution, transportation, importation and sale of any assault rifle or .50 BMG rifles, except in specific circumstances, according to the California Legislature.
Saenz posted $50,000 bail and was released Thursday morning. Details on the conditions of his release were not immediately available, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Marvin Crowder said.
The Los Angeles District Attorney charged Saenz with a total of 64 felony counts, according to a news release. He has been charged with 23 counts of possessing an assault weapon, 17 counts of transferring a handgun with no licensed firearms dealer, 15 counts of unlawful assault weapon activity, seven counts of possessing of a short-barreled rifle or shotgun, and two counts of possessing a destructive device, according to the release.
Saenz pleaded not guilty during an arraignment Monday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court, the release said. The DA’s office said the crimes took place between January 2016 and May 2019.
The complaint that led to the arrest involved the sale of firearms, but the investigation remains ongoing, Ramirez said, and more charges, including federal counts, are possible.
Police didn’t release any more information about the arrest, but the law enforcement official said they have not found any evidence linking Saenz to terrorism.
In aerial footage from the scene, hundreds of guns are seen scattered on what appears to be blankets in the driveway. The weapons range from handguns to rifles. Police can be seen taking inventory.
The ATF’s Colbrun said in a written statement that authorities were anonymously tipped off that someone was “conducting illegal firearms transaction outside the scope of the federal firearm license” that the suspect possesses. Along with the weapons, firearm manufacturing equipment and tools were also found at the home.
In 2015, Los Angeles police seized 1,200 guns, seven tons of ammunition and $230,000 in cash from a home. The owner had died of natural causes and was found in his SUV. At that time it was considered one of the largest seizures of weapons from one home, Los Angeles police said.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misspelled ATF spokeswoman Ginger Colbrun’s surname.
CNN’s Stella Chan, Sarah Moon, Josh Campbell, Mary Kay Mallonee and Eliott C. McLaughlin contributed to this report.