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Man arrested after 1,000 guns found at Los Angeles home is charged

If convicted as charged, Girard Damian Saenz, faces a maximum sentence of more than 40 years in prison, prosecutors said.
Law enforcement find a cache of weapons in a Holmy Hills home on Wednesday, May 8, 2019.
Law enforcement find a cache of weapons in a Holmby Hills home on May 8, 2019.KNBC

A man arrested after federal law enforcement officers found more than 1,000 guns at a home in one of the richest areas of Los Angeles has been charged with 64 felony counts, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said.

Girard Damian Saenz, 58, pleaded not guilty Monday, the prosecutor's office said in a statement Monday.

He was arrested in May after federal and local agents seized more than 1,000 weapons in Bel-Air, the DA's office said.

"It's just beyond comprehension that somebody can have so many weapons in a residence like this in a neighborhood like this," a Los Angeles police official said at the time of Saenz's arrest.

Saenz was charged with 23 counts of possession of an assault weapon, 17 counts of transfer of handgun with no licensed firearms dealer, 15 counts of unlawful assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle activity, seven counts of possession of a short-barreled rifle or shotgun, and two counts of possession of a destructive device, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in Monday's statement.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 48 years and eight months in state prison, the DA’s office said.

Saenz had been free on $50,000 bail. It was increased to $100,000 on Monday, and he posted that and was released, the news agency City News Service reported. Online jail records show he was released Monday afternoon.

Prosecutors said the case was filed Friday, and that the alleged offenses happened between January 2016 and May of this year.

Online court records did not appear to list an attorney late Monday.

Los Angeles police said at the time of the seizure, which it called one of the largest recoveries of weapons in LAPD history, that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives received information that a person was selling and manufacturing illegal guns, which led to the search warrant.