"Large Quantities of Illegal Firearms and Equipment Recovered"
Los Angeles: On Friday, March 21, 2003, at approximately 2:00 p.m., a routine traffic stop made by two Los Angeles Police Department officers in the Devonshire Area lead to the discovery of multiple illegal military type firearms and equipment. Police Officers Michael Coogle and Luke Walden, both assigned to the Devonshire Area Police Station, conducted the traffic stop and in the course of their investigation, discovered that the suspects had in their possession of numerous Uzi assault firearm parts.
The officers notified the Criminal Conspiracy Section, which in turn reported the incident to the Gun Unit, Detective Headquarters Division. Subsequently, detectives from the Gun Unit dispatched a team to make a preliminary assessment. Based on additional information gathered at the scene and from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the detectives secured a search warrant based on information acquired from the suspects in the traffic stop.
On Sunday, March 23, 2003, the Gun Unit, armed with a search warrant, and with the assistance of the ATF, proceeded to 9825 Mason Avenue in the Devonshire Area, City of Los Angeles. The team served the search warrant. At the rear of this address, the team found four large 44-foot storage bins containing numerous military-type rifles, firearm components and equipment. The bins had thousands and thousands of parts to assemble hundreds of weapons to include Uzi assault rifles grenade launcher adapters and various other assault weapons with an estimated street value well in excess of three million dollar.
The majority of the items recovered are classified as felony possessions. A suspect in this case has been identified and an arrest is expected within the next 24 hours.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Los Angeles Field Division, Special Agent in Charge Donald Kincaid stated, "This investigation is indicative of the success that can be achieved through joint and collaborative efforts, bringing to bear the unique resources and expertise of the involved agencies."
On March 24, 2003, the Gun Unit continued the investigation and proceeded to another location in Devonshire Area to serve a second search warrant. At this location, two more containers containing similar controlled materials were found. The investigation is on-going and the inventory of the firearms and weapons are expected to grow.
This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jason Lee, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.