Banning Gun Store Owner Arrested for Possession of Illegal Weapons and Explosives

Tuesday, June 12, 2001
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(BANNING, Calif.) – The owner of a gun store in Riverside County has been arrested for possession of illegal weapons and explosives, Attorney General Bill Lockyer said today.

Mark Hendon, 46, of Banning, has been charged with violations of federal and state weapons laws after officers and agents served search warrants and discovered illegal weapons and military ordinance at both his business and residence. He is being held in San Bernardino County Jail.

Hendon was arrested by Special Agents of the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement Riverside Office and Firearms Division, working with officers and agents from the Banning Police Department, the Indio Police Department, the Riverside Sheriff's Department, the California Department of Corrections Parole and Community Services Division, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the US Marshals Office.

The investigation began June 4 when officers from the Banning Police Department responded to a burglary call at Hendon's residence involving the theft of more than 75 firearms. During the burglary investigation, officers discovered a number of illegal weapons and explosives at the residence, and a subsequent state compliance inspection of Hendon's licensed firearms business revealed several state and federal violations. Agents using a search warrant seized assault weapons, high-caliber explosive ammunition, artillery mortars, live hand grenades and anti-tank missile tubes.

Five suspects were arrested in the initial burglary of Hendon's house or for the transfer of stolen firearms.

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