Attorney General Lockyer Announces Arrest Warrants Issued For Two Los Angeles Men On Gun Possession And Trafficking Charges
Arrest Shuts Down Illegal Scheme to Distribute Firearms to a Convicted Criminal
(LOS ANGELES) - Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that arrest warrants have been issued for two Los Angeles County area residents on alleged illegal gun possession and trafficking charges. The arrest warrants are the result of a five-month investigation conducted by agents from the Attorney General's Firearms Division into the illegal possession of firearms by a convicted felon. Agents successfully arrested one of the individuals this morning, the other remains at large and agents are actively pursuing leads to identify his whereabouts.
The at-large suspect, William C. Cregier, 64, of Culver City, faces twelve felony counts - seven counts for illegal possession of a machine gun and five counts for illegal possession of an unregistered assault weapon. Cregier's son, William H. Cregier, 37, of Simi Valley, was arrested this morning and faces two felony counts for knowingly supplying a firearm to a convicted felon. The Los Angeles District Attorney will handle the prosecution of the two men.
Established in July 2002, the Attorney General's California Armed Prohibited Program (CAPP) was created to remove firearms from individuals who illegally purchase or possess them in violation of state law. Over the last three years, CAPP agents within the Attorney General's Firearms Division have recovered more than 4,655 firearms, including 1,117 assault weapons, from felons and other prohibited persons. In 2004, the CAPP-Inland Empire Task Force made 48 felony arrests and seized over 400 weapons from prohibited persons.
"It's not enough to get guns out of the hands of criminals, it's also critical that we shut down those who arm them," Lockyer said. "This arrest has taken illegal weapons off the streets and removed a source of supply for criminals."
The Cregier investigation started with an anonymous tip received by the CAPP-Inland Empire Task Force in December 2004 that a convicted felon on parole was selling guns in Los Angeles. Further investigation revealed that William H. Cregier had transferred two handguns to the felon in violation of state law and that Cregier's father, William C., illegally possessed numerous machine guns and assault weapons at his residence. Upon searching the father's home, CAPP agents recovered numerous firearms including seven machine guns and five assault weapons.
California law prohibits convicted felons, violent offenders, the mentally ill, persons with restraining orders and other specified individuals from possessing a gun. In 2003, 22,311 aggravated assaults were committed involving the use of firearms as well as 1,733 homicides. More than 3,300 prohibited persons were denied the ability to purchase a firearm as a result of the background checks performed in a proper transaction process, however there are still many criminals who use alternative, and illegal, means to get their hands on guns. In light of these activities the California Armed Prohibited Program was created to help crackdown on illegal possession and distribution of weapons.
Media interested in viewing the weapons seized may do so on Thursday, May 5th at the California State Building located at 464 West 4th Street, Suite 152, San Bernardino, CA (Department of Rehabilitation Conference Room), between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 12:00 noon. For additional information you may contact Commander Rich Twiss at (909) 883-3806.