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​Drought-stricken California lake reveals lost gun, badge

A California fisherman got the surprise of a lifetime when he hooked a back pack containing an ATF agent's gun and badge lost 22 years ago
Fisherman hooks ATF badge, gun lost 22 years ago 01:24

CASTAIC, Calif. -- Decades after they were lost, a federal law enforcement agent's gun and badge have surfaced in a Southern California lake, thanks to the region's record drought.

A man fishing on the dam at Castaic Lake found a backpack that was exposed as the water line dropped more than 150 feet, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said. The bag contained a gun and a badge issued to an agent from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

An ATF agent's gun, badge and other items were recently discovered inside a backpack that fell into Castaic Lake in 1992, revealed by the lake's dropping water level. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

"As I opened it up a gun fell out," Jay Poore told CBS Los Angeles. "I opened the wallet and there was a badge. I knew that I better go find the sheriff's and give it to them."

The ATF agent, who was not identified, said that he and a friend from the Los Angeles County Probation Department went to Castaic Lake in 1992 to enjoy a day on the lake. The duo decided to put their valuables in a backpack they took on the boat instead of leaving it in the soft-top Jeep they had driven, officials said.

At some point, the boat was swamped and the backpack, containing a gun, badge, pager, watch, what appears to be a class ring and a credit card-size calendar, went over the side and into the lake.

The officers told sheriff's officials they got a lot of grief from their peers about losing their badges and weapon in the lake but were glad the items have been found and their story was validated.

Castaic Lake's water level continues to drop because of the drought, revealing items like the backpack, an outboard motor and a GoPro camera, officials said.

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