A man and his daughter pleaded no contest Friday to charges related to the discovery of an illegal weapons cache, including untraceable “ghost guns” and fully automatic assault weapons, during a raid at their Temple City home nearly two years ago, authorities said.
Steven David Ponder, 59, was convicted of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and unlawful assault weapon activity, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. Riley Elizabeth Ponder, 29, was convicted of being an accessory to the crimes after the fact.
The father is expected to receive a sentence of six years and eight months in state prison when he returns to Los Angeles County Superior Court for sentencing on April 8, prosecutors said in a written statement. Riley Ponder is expected to receive a year of probation and be ordered to complete 100 hours of community service.
A search of their home on Valentine’s Day 2018 turned up a total of 28 guns and 66,000 rounds of ammunition, California Department of Justice officials said at the rime of the raid.
Among the firearms were 12 assault weapons, 11 “ghost guns” without serial numbers and two fully automatic, short-barreled rifles, according to the DOJ.
The bust resulted from an investigation into Steven Ponder, who was already prohibited from possessing firearms following convictions in 1991 for possession of a machine gun and counterfeiting money.
Department of Justice special agents went to the Ponders’ home to seek four guns that had been registered to the father, but which he had failed to relinquish following his felony convictions, officials said.
In addition to the charges Steven Ponder pleaded no contest to, he was initially also charged with possession of ammunition by a felon, possession of a destructive device, possession of an assault weapon, possession of a machine gun and possession of a short-barreled rifle. He could have faced up to eight years in state prison if he had been convicted as originally charged at trial.
Riley Ponder was initially charged with possession of an assault weapon, possession of a destructive device and prohibited transfer of firearms and could have faced five years in prison if she had been convicted as originally charged.