Attorney General's Firearms Agents Seize Illegal Assault Rifles And Explosive Materials In Riverside County

Friday, July 8, 2005
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(RIVERSIDE) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that his California Armed and Prohibited Program’s Inland Empire Task Force (IETF) served two separate search warrants this week resulting in three arrests as well as the seizure of four unregistered assault rifles and explosive materials.

On Thursday, July 7, 2005, the IETF served a search warrant for the possession of an unregistered assault weapon in the 1200 block of Massachusetts Avenue in the City of Beaumont. As a result of the search Task Force Agents discovered and seized two unregistered assault rifles, approximately 150 pounds of unlawful explosive items, and a police baton. The suspect, Ronald Hemd, 29-years-old, was arrested and booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center for possession of unregistered assault weapons, possession of dangerous explosives, and possession of an illegal weapon. The Beaumont Police Department and Riverside County Sheriff’s Hazardous Devices Team assisted IETF on this investigation.

On Wednesday, July 6, 2005, the IETF, acting on information from the inspection of a licensed firearms dealer, conducted a probation search of a suspect for the unlawful possession of an unregistered assault weapon in the 1000 block of Huntington Way in the City of Perris. Task Force Agents seized two unregistered assault rifles, ammunition, suspected destructive devices, and other illegal weapons. The suspect, Jimmy Leyba, 21-years-old, was on probation and prohibited from possessing firearms or dangerous weapons. He was arrested and booked at the Robert Presley Detention Center for unlawful possession of firearms, possession of unregistered assault weapons and possession of illegal weapons. Also arrested at the residence was Anthony Leyba, Jr., 43-years-old, who had a felony warrant for violation of parole.

Established in July 2002, the Attorney General's California Armed Prohibited Program (CAPP) was created to remove firearms from individuals who purchase or possess them in violation of state law. The California Armed Prohibited Program Inland Empire Task Force was established in March 2003, and is composed of state and local law enforcement agencies. In 2004, the CAPP-Inland Empire Task Force made 48 felony arrests and seized over 400 weapons from prohibited persons.

California law prohibits convicted felons, violent offenders, the mentally ill, persons with restraining orders and other specified individuals from possessing a gun. However, there are 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.

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