Homeless man arrested in California encampment had machine guns: police

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 25, 2015 1:37 PM

(Reuters) - Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies have arrested a homeless man at an encampment after finding him with machine guns and other weapons and ammunition, the department said on Wednesday.

Sheriff's deputies investigating an encampment on what they believed to be private property in the Los Angeles area encountered a man emerging from a tent, the department said in a statement.

Richard Cunningham, 59, "was illegally in possession of, what appeared to be, two fully operational machine guns," the statement said. "Cunningham also possessed four handguns, two make-shift suppressors, and numerous rounds of ammunition."

Cunningham was being held on Wednesday in lieu of $166,500 bail after being arraigned the day before at Compton Superior Court on numerous weapons violations, the department said.

The specific charges were not immediately available.

Cunningham was arrested on Saturday evening.

Detective Mark Pope, a department spokesman, said he had no further information on how the deputies learned the man had the weapons, nor the make and model of what they confiscated.

Pictures posted by the department show what appear to be a World War Two-era submachine gun known as a "grease gun," though Pope could not confirm that.

"Dangerous and illegal weapons are off the street, and a previously convicted felon has been arrested," Pope said.

A lawyer for the man could not immediately be reached.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Alan Crosby)