HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA (FOX 11) - Detectives found Nazi memorabilia and an "arsenal" of more than fifty firearms, including assault rifles and snipers, in the home of a Huntington Beach man who was arrested by police on Tuesday.
Laguna Beach Police took 51-year-old Mitchell Todd into custody after serving a search warrant at the 15000 block of Cambay Lane Tuesday morning. Todd is the owner of an Orange County dove releasing business.
Police told FOX 11 Todd is being assessed by psychological staff at a local hospital. He will then be booked into the county jail in Santa Ana, with more charges expected to come down.
LBPD told FOX 11 they had been investigating Todd since mid November after he allegedly began making physical threats to a man he had been having a business dispute with. The man had hired Todd to release doves at his son's funeral, and there was a dispute about payment.
"The suspect had made a verbal threat stating words to the effect of maybe you need to go be with your son," said Sgt. Jim Cota of Laguna Beach PD. "You could tell the voicemails and text messages became more and more threatening and then the tip of the iceberg was hearing the releasing of a handgun slide, so at that point we knew we were dealing with somebody whose got the potential of extreme violence."
Detectives obtained a search warrant and arrested Todd on Tuesday. A search of his home would reveal a stockpile of weapons and ammo, including assault rifles and snipers.
"Definitely an arsenal, we're trying to figure out why one person would have in excess of 50 guns, at least in my career it's stands up there with the top 5 in terms of firepower," Sgt. Cota said. "This is definitely an amount of weaponry that is not for personal use."
Sgt. Cota told FOX 11 detectives also found a confederate flag and Nazi memorabilia in Todd's home.
"We also found some memorabilia that was a reference to the Third Reich and Nazi paraphernalia that were gonna look into just to see if there's any ties to any hate groups or anything like that," he said.
Neighbors told FOX 11 off camera that Todd is known as the "crazy guy" in the neighborhood, and that Nazi memorabilia had been seen in his windows before.
Sgt. Cota told FOX 11 that only 12 of the recovered weapons are registered to Todd, and the DOJ and ATF will likely have to be brought in to investigate.
He believes his detectives may have prevented something terrible from happening.
"I couldn't be more proud of the detectives and the work that they did tonight, my gut feeling tells me we did potentially stop something that could've been, I can't even put into words what could've been forthcoming," he said.
Todd has been booked on charges of criminal threats, though weapons charges are expected to be added on.
He remains in Laguna Beach police custody Tuesday night, and will be brought to the Santa Ana jail on Wednesday.
Statement from ATF Los Angeles:
"ATF is going to assist Laguna PD with their investigation. ATF will be looking at the firearms inventory, performing traces on the firearms and determining whether all federal firearms regulations were followed by the individual."
Investigators will be looking into any possible connections with known hate groups.