Stockpile of Illegal Firearms and Ammunition Leads to Ex-Fugitive’s Arrest in Fontana

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Steven Durant is shown in a booking photo released by the Fontana Police Department on Sept. 28, 2015.

Steven Durant is shown in a booking photo released by the Fontana Police Department on Sept. 28, 2015.

A 57-year-old man who had once spent years on the run from federal marshals was arrested in Fontana after police found more than 300 illegal firearms in a storage facility, police said Monday.

Steven Charles Durant was taken into custody early Saturday after Fontana Police Department officers were called to a report of a suspicious person and vehicle in the 13400 block of Foothill Boulevard.

Officers saw multiple firearms, ammunition and weapon parts in a U-Haul truck and two open storage units. Durant gave officers consent to search the storage units, where they found multiple illegal AK-47 assault rifles, according to a police news release.

After getting a search warrant, officers seized more than 300 firearms, including military-grade machine guns, and 20,000 rounds of ammunition, as well as scrap parts.

Hundreds of guns seized at a storage facility were displayed by Fontana police on Sept. 28, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

Hundreds of guns seized at a storage facility were displayed by Fontana police on Sept. 28, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

"This is a significant arrest that takes hundreds of dangerous military-grade firearms off the streets and keeps them out of the wrong hands," Fontana police Chief Rod Jones said in the release. "I am very disturbed about the number and the types of weapons seized by our officers."

Durant was booked at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga on suspicion of possession of illegal firearms and an explosive destructive device.

His ties to Fontana were not clear, police said, identifying him as a Mesa, Arizona, resident. Durant had rented the storage units since 2008, according to police.

He was being held on $1 million bail, and was due in court Tuesday morning, San Bernardino County inmate records indicated.

Durant was on federal probation in Arizona for the manufacture of machine guns, according to Fontana police.

A police news release linked to a September 2013 news story from KNXV in Phoenix, which reported that Durant was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service and Tempe police. He had escaped from federal custody in South Dakota after a 1991 conviction and had been wanted since that time, the station reported.

A U.S. Marshal told the station that Durant’s 16-year run as a fugitive ended when he was arrested while doing yard work at a home in Mesa, Arizona.

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