Man Denies Building up Massive Cache of Assault Weapons in Bel-Air Home

ATF officials investigate after dozens of guns are found in a Bel-Air home on May 8, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

ATF officials investigate after dozens of guns are found in a Bel-Air home on May 8, 2019. (Credit: KTLA)

A man pleaded not guilty Monday to dozens of felony counts stemming from the seizure of more than 1,000 firearms at his Bel-Air home earlier this year, prosecutors said.

Girard Damian Saenz, 58, is accused of building up a massive cache of assault weapons inside his residence between January 2016 and this May, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

He’s facing 23 counts of assault weapon possession, 17 counts of transferring a handgun with no licensed firearms dealer, 15 counts of unlawful assault weapon/.50 BMG rifle activity, seven counts of short-barreled rifle or shotgun possession and two counts of possession of a destructive device.

Guns of all makes, calibers and models could be seen in the courtyard of Saenz’s house on the 100 block of North Beverly Glen Boulevard after a May 8 raid executed by federal agents and L.A. police. Over 1,000 rounds of live ammunition were also found inside, officials said.

At the time, LAPD Lt. Chris Ramirez said it was “beyond comprehension” that such a large stash of dangerous weapons sat hidden in an affluent area full of multimillion-dollar homes.

Some of the guns seized during an investigation in Bel-Air are shown in photos released by the LAPD on May 8, 2019.

Some of the guns seized during an investigation in Bel-Air are shown in photos released by the LAPD on May 8, 2019.

The five-bedroom residence involved is valued at an estimated $7 million, according to real estate website Redfin.com. Public records show it’s owned by Cynthia Beck, who has three daughters with oil magnate J. Paul Getty’s son.

Saenz is Beck’s longtime companion, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Times also reported that Saenz was previously detained for allegedly brandishing a firearm at a Malibu home in September 2017, but no charges were filed in that case.

Saenz was arrested in the gun stockpiling case when authorities raided his home May 8. He posted $50,000 bond the next day.

Prosecutors say the defendant’s bail was increased to $100,000 at his arraignment Monday. Inmate records show Saenz posted that bond, too.

If convicted as charged, he could face up to 48 years and eight months in state prison.

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