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Massive Illegal Arsenals Seized In Southern California

AUGA DULCE (CBS SF) -- A joint operation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and the California Department of Justice led to the seizure of 553 firearms in Agua Dulce, according to law enforcement officials.

Authorities said sheriff department investigators in Palmdale received a tip that a local man was in possession of a large arsenal of firearms and that he was a convicted felon.

On June 14, local and federal agents served a search warrant in the 34700 block of Caprock Road in the unincorporated area of Agua Dulce.

During the search, 60-year-old Manuel Fernandez was arrested for being a felon in possession of firearms and a felon in possession of ammunition. At the residence, 432 firearms were seized.

The first warrant led investigators to second location connected Fernandez. The second warrant resulted in the seizure of 30 illegal firearms possessed by a female associate.

The female suspect was not home at the time of the warrant service and remains at large.

A follow-up warrant led to the seizure of an additional 91 firearms. Detectives also seized computers, cellphones, and hard drives from the residence believed to be involved in the illicit purchase of firearms.

Due to the large number of firearms recovered, detectives enlisted the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) for tracing the purchase origination of the weapons. Agents from both the California Department of Justice and ATF will be providing resources as the case continues through the court process.

The suspect was arrested and booked at Palmdale Sheriff's Station on charges of felon in possession of firearms, possession of an assault rifle, felon in possession of ammunition and possession of large capacity magazines

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