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Crime & Law

    A tip called in to Los Angeles County authorities led investigators to seize a total of 553 guns from a convicted felon last week, officials said. Manuel Fernandez, 60, of Agua Dulce, was arrested Thursday on charges of being a felon in possession of firearms, possession of an assault rifle, being a felon in possession of ammunition and possession of large-capacity magazines, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officials. He was released on bond the following day. Sheriff’s Department officials said in a news release Monday that deputies at the department’s Palmdale station received a tip about a felon in possession of a “large arsenal of firearms.” Detectives, along with agents from the California Department of Justice, obtained a search warrant for Fernandez’s home in Agua Dulce.  Agua Dulce is located about 20 miles northeast of Santa Clarita, near Angeles National Forest.  >> Read more trending news Investigators found a total of 432 guns during the execution of the first search warrant at Fernandez’s home, the news release said. That search led them to a second home in Agua Dulce connected to Fernandez. A total of 30 guns were found at that home, which belongs to a woman described by authorities as a female associate of Fernandez’s. The woman, who was not home Monday and has not returned since the search, is expected to face charges. A second warrant served at Fernandez’s home led investigators to find another 91 weapons hidden in the house, the news release said.  “Detectives also seized computers, cellphones and hard drives from the residence believed to be involved in the illicit purchase of firearms by the suspect,” the news release said.  A photo released by the Sheriff’s Department shows rifles and other weapons piled into the bed of a Ford F-150 pickup truck. Other pictures show the massive cache of weapons laid out on a patio at the station.   The number of weapons seized was so large that investigators brought in agents from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to assist in tracing the purchase history of the guns, authorities said.  “This case is a testament to the community’s involvement in reducing crime and taking guns out of the hands of criminals,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell said in a statement. McDonnell said the response by his personnel, as well as state and federal officials, shows the positive result of the Sheriff’s Department’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign. “We are proud of the relationship we have built in the Antelope Valley area as we continue to build trust with the communities we serve,” the sheriff said. 
  • A Bexar County Sheriff's Department deputy was arrested on a felony charge of super aggravated sexual assault Sunday after a 4-year-old girl’s mother was blackmailed to stay silent about the abuse, according to police. The victim’s mother is an undocumented immigrant and was threatened with deportation if she spoke out. >> Read more trending news  KENS reported that department officials arrested detention Deputy Jose Nunez, 47, after the victim told her mother about the abuse Saturday night in San Antonio, Texas. Sheriff Javier Salazar said at a news conference Sunday that the mother went to a local fire station and Nunez was arrested.  'The details of the case are quite frankly heartbreaking, disturbing, disgusting and infuriating all at the same time,' Salazar said, adding that Nunez had physical contact with the victim and there was 'at least some indication of minor injury.' 'We have reason to believe that this goes back at least several months, possibly a couple of  several years,' Salazar said. Nunez, a 10-year veteran of the department, is on administrative leave pending an investigation.
  • The FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration made several arrests and served warrants Wednesday as part of a massive, two-state drug case, officials said. Police, FBI agents and the DEA started serving a warrant in Charlotte, North Carolina, Wednesday around 6:30 a.m. >> Read more trending news  Court officials said they’re waiting on the FBI to bring over just under a dozen suspects. The FBI said it’s raiding 17 locations Wednesday in both South Carolina and North Carolina in a large drug investigation. Officials wouldn’t say what kind of drugs were involved, but some agents were in protective hazmat clothing at the Rock Hill, South Carolina, location. WSOC reported that court appearances are scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.
  • Tuesday will mark two years since a gunman opened fire inside the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring 53 others. >> Read more trending news Several events are being held to honor the victims and survivors on the darkest day in Orlando's history. Many people came to pay their respects at the Pulse memorial site Monday. Crews took down the message board that surrounds the Pulse nightclub sign, giving those who come out a blank canvas to fill with their thoughts on the anniversary.  'It's so fresh in our minds still that we can't believe that two years has gone by. But to know it's only been two years and the way the community has healed after is amazing,' said Nicole Rowdean, who came to the Pulse memorial. Rowden said she moved to Orlando the day after the Pulse tragedy. In addition to showing up at the memorial Monday, she and her girlfriend started a new tradition. 'Actually, our first date was on the date last year. So we sort of did that on purpose to do our own respect toward it. We figured what better way to honor and remember everybody by having our first date? We've been together a year after,' Rowden said.  For some, Monday was the first time they've been to the memorial. Guy Shaginaw said it's hard to relive the painful memories, but he still wishes the club would reopen to truly embrace the saying, 'We will not let hate win.' 'They are hurt and you hear things about the bloody shoes and the doctor, and video of cellphones ringing, people looking for their loved ones. I know that's hard; that has to really hurt people. But the best thing, I think, with anything, is to move on,' he said.  On Tuesday, 49 bells will ring at the nightclub in honor of those killed.
  • A man’s body was found inside the wall of an open-air flea market in Clover, South Carolina, WSOC reports. The man has been identified as 33-year-old William “Eddie” Powers. Police told WSOC Powers had been reported missing for about two weeks. >> Read more trending news Police said they went to the Clover Open Air Flea Market Wednesday morning after receiving a report of a strong odor. It is unclear how Powers’ body ended up inside the wall, but the coroner said no foul play is suspected. Autopsy and toxicology results are pending.
  • A woman was in police custody Sunday after authorities were called to investigate reports of a shooting as thousands of people gathered for the 2018 Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon, according to multiple reports. >> Read more trending news An unidentified city official confirmed to KNSD that authorities were responding Sunday morning to reports of an active shooter at the City Hall Parkade, near the marathon route. It was not immediately clear whether a shooting had taken place. A woman was in custody following the incident, KSWB reported.  A San Diego police officer was hospitalized after what KNSD described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the leg. He is expected to make a full recovery. Marathon runners were rerouted as police investigated the reported shooting, although KNSD reported that the run was allowed to continue as normal after authorities determined there was no longer any threat Sunday afternoon. Photos posted on social media showed a heavy police presence downtown after reports of the shooting first surfaced just after 11 a.m. local time.
  • Authorities in Arizona have linked the shooting that claimed the life of Steven Pitt, a high-profile forensic psychologist, with a separate shooting that killed two paralegals last week, Scottsdale police confirmed Saturday. Investigators are also working to determine whether a homicide reported early Saturday is connected to the deaths. >> Read more trending news Scottsdale police spokesman Sgt. Ben Hoster said evidence collected at either scene connected Pitt’s death with those of paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, KNXV-TV reported. Hoster declined to discuss the evidence in detail at a news conference Saturday. >> Steven Pitt, forensic consultant in JonBenet Ramsey case, shot to death Pitt was shot to death Thursday outside of his office in Phoenix, according to the Arizona Republic. Sharp and Anderson were shot and killed Friday at the law office where they worked in Scottsdale, authorities said. 'We are in the middle of our investigations, so I'm not going to talk about who's being investigated or what's happening,' Hoster said. 'We're asking for help from the public.' A fourth shooting early Saturday claimed the life of Marshall Levine, 72, according to KTRK. An acquaintance found Levine’s body in his office in Scottsdale just after midnight on Saturday and called 911, the news station reported. Authorities have not identified any suspects in the killings, although a police sketch has been released. Police believe only one shooter is behind the attacks. Hoster asked residents to stay vigilant as authorities continue to investigate.
  • SILVER SPRINGS, Fla. - A man is behind bars on suspicion of beating a woman Saturday before choking her to death with a telephone cord, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office. >> Read more trending news Authorities arrested Eric Gay, 36, on Sunday on a charge of first-degree murder. Investigators believe Gay killed the woman, who has not been identified, “in order to steal some of her prescription medications and cash,” according to a news release.  Deputies said they found the woman’s body in the trunk of a car in Silver Springs.  Witnesses told detectives that Gay had taken the victim’s car to his home along the 1600 block of NE 167th Terrace after he had spent the night at her home, according to a police report.  While at the victim’s house Saturday, detectives said Gay snuck into the woman’s bedroom to steal prescriptions and cash. She woke and caught him, authorities said. Detectives believe he then choked the victim until she was unconscious and wrapped her body in a sleeping bag, believing she was dead. Detectives said that when the woman started to wake up later, Gay beat her with a large flashlight in an attempt to kill her before choking her to death with telephone wire. He then placed the woman in the trunk of her own car and drove her to his home, detectives said. Authorities continue to investigate the case.
  • When a 15-year-old boy arrived at a Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta location with a stomachache two years ago, his family likely didn’t expect it was tied to molestation.  The victim told his sister about his sexual abuse in December 2016 after he was admitted to CHOA for “debilitating stomach pain,” the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement Friday. She encouraged him to tell their parents. >> Read more trending news   Superior Court Judge William H. “Beau” McClain sentenced Fernando Deon Valentine to 30 years with life on parole following his aggravated child molestation conviction.  “The victim is scarred for life as a result of your actions,” McClain said in court.  Valentine began abusing the boy in April 2016, according to Douglas County District Attorney Ryan Leonard.  The boy purchased pepper spray to protect himself, but he started developing stomach pains. Hospital personnel testified that stomach pains in children were often related to anxiety over stress in a child’s life.  The victim’s stomach pain eventually led detectives to two other victims, including the boy’s sister. The victims, who are now women, testified that Valentine abused them when they were younger.  The man’s relationship to the victims was not released. “It takes a great amount of courage for a teenager to testify about sexual abuse in a courtroom full of strangers,” Assistant District Attorney Sam Newman said in a statement. “(Valentine) has been stopped as a result of the bravery of these witnesses.”
  • Police in Australia are investigating a suspicious death at the home of a man neighbors say was a hoarder. >> Read more trending news  Bruce Roberts, the man who lived in the home, died last year. Police told ABC they suspect he hid the body before his death.Cleaning crews were clearing out the Greenwich home when the body was discovered on Tuesday, according to a police statement. The body had been there for a “considerable time” and investigators are treating the death as suspicious.  Witnesses told 9 News that the body was discovered under a rug or rolled up in one in the back of the house. Neighbors described Roberts as a “loner” and a “recluse.” “It's creepy and sad, it's just awful that it's next door, very unpleasant,” Gayle Meagher said. “He was paranoid about security around the home and had barbed wire.” She said that Roberts’ parents owned the property and had lived there for about 50 years. Another neighbor described Roberts as “childlike.” “He was [in his] late 50s or 60s, had the same brown jacket on, he was childlike in a way, he just had no expressions, nothing,” the woman told ABC. The property is overgrown and surrounded by old tires, wood and cardboard. Investigators are now working to identify the body and cause of death.