The owner of a dove release business in Orange County pleaded not guilty to making criminal threats against a funeral client Friday — following the discovery of an arsenal of weapons and Nazi and Confederate paraphernalia at his home.
Along with some 57 firearms, more than 200 doves were found at the Huntington Beach home of Mitchell Todd on Nov. 27 after he was accused of threatening a man who had hired him for his son’s funeral services, according to police.
The owner of OC Doves, Todd was supposed to release doves at the funeral but never did and then still demanded to be paid, the former customer told police. He allegedly sent threatening texts and voicemails to the victim.
Todd, 52, was charged with a felony count of making criminal threats on Dec. 6 and was arrested on a warrant a week later on Dec. 13, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. He pleaded not guilty Friday morning.
He faces a maximum possible sentence of three years in state prison if convicted.
According to prosecutors, Todd got into an argument with the funeral client on Nov. 10. A day later, he allegedly left a series of voicemails still demanding to be paid.
On the last voicemail, the sound of “a handgun slide being pulled back and released as if chambering a round” can be heard, the DA’s office said in a news release.
He also sent the funeral client threatening texts, Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota previously told KTLA.
“One of the messages was, ‘Maybe you need to be where your son’s at,'” Cota said.
When police officers investigated Todd’s home last month, they came across a Confederate flag, Nazi memorabilia and dozens of guns, including rifles and handguns, authorities said.
Nearly 30,000 rounds of ammunition, over 100 magazines, swords, a practice bomb and several body armors were also found, prosecutors said. Only 12 of the guns were registered to him, according to police.
The discovery led to police investigating whether Todd was involved with any hate groups, police said.
“If so, this is somebody that should not be in possession of weapons,” Cota said.
Authorities also investigated the weapons not registered to him.
Meanwhile, hundreds of doves found at the home appeared to be well cared for.