HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas Tech football player who was kicked off the team earlier this month stole at least seven guns after burglarizing a Lubbock home in December, according to an arrest affidavit.
Robert James Castaneda told investigators he took a gun safe with at least seven weapons — including shotguns and rifles — as well as a television and a camera during a Dec. 20 burglary, according to the affidavit, which was made public on Tuesday.
The 20-year-old sophomore ex-backup offensive lineman is free on $5,000 bond after being arrested Friday and charged with burglary of a habitation. If convicted, Castaneda faces up to 20 years in prison.
Phone numbers listed for Castaneda were disconnected, and court records don't list an attorney for him.
Texas Tech declined to comment on Castaneda's arrest, referring reporters to a previous statement that indicated the football player had been removed from the team for "failure to uphold student-athlete expectations."
Lubbock Police spokesman Lt. Ray Mendoza said the department is investigating the possible involvement of two other individuals in the burglary and is waiting to present their findings to a grand jury.
Investigators say they were eventually led to Castaneda after one of the stolen shotguns was found in a pawnshop in March by its owner while he was shopping for a replacement.
The pawn shop discovery led investigators in April to a man who told police he had paid $1,400 for several weapons from Castaneda. Police later determined those weapons had been stolen during the December burglary.
When investigators interviewed Castaneda on May 3, the former football player told them he and the other two individuals broke into the home trying to steal money from a drug dealer who lived there, but instead took the gun safe with the weapons inside, the affidavit said.
"Castaneda advised the money he received from the guns he gave to his father because he was 'broke,'" according to the affidavit.
Police are investigating similar burglaries in Lubbock in which gun safes were stolen and later dumped. According to the affidavit, police have found six such gun safes in a local lake.
Follow Juan A. Lozano on Twitter at www.twitter.com/juanlozano70