Pleas from a mother worried about the safety of her two children led detectives to a Chatsworth house on Thursday where they discovered illegal drugs and an arsenal of weapons.
Seven people were arrested, including the children's father, Charles Wilkerson, 33, of Wilmington.
Jeremiah Wilkerson, 5, was found wandering by the front door of the house at 23537 Lake Manor Drive, and his sister Christina, 4, was in a bedroom. Both were unharmed and released to their grandmother, Mary Wilkerson, said Eric Smith, a Sheriff's Department spokesman.
Deputies arrived at the house after the mother, Lana McCormick, told police in the Kings County town of Hanford that she feared her children were being exposed to drugs and might be taken from the state.
That message was relayed to Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in Malibu.
Deputies obtained a warrant to search the house after they were invited in and saw a scale and five bags of the stimulant methamphetamine, commonly known as speed, on a bedroom dresser, Sgt. Art Reddy said.
They seized half a pound of methamphetamine, a small amount of hashish, 60 rifles and handguns--many of them stolen and half of them loaded--and $1,400 in cash. The drugs would have been worth $50,000 on the street, deputies estimated.
Deputies also confiscated 232 used needles and syringes, which they said had been repackaged for sale. Some were still oozing liquid and blood, they said.
All seven suspects were in custody Friday night. Kenneth Dunegan, 50 and Patricia Wall, 38, both residents of the Chatsworth home, were arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs for sale, authorities said.
They also are being held on suspicion of grand theft and receiving stolen property, authorities said. Bail for each was set at $20,000.
Deputies said the remaining five suspects were temporarily staying at the Chatsworth house. The five, as identified by deputies, are: Wilkerson; his girlfriend, Mary Muscoe, 31, of Anaheim; Jerry Huffman, 48, of Lawndale; Wall's daughter, Lisa Scallion, 18; and her boyfriend, Mike Schultz, 18.
All five were arrested on suspicion of possessing drugs. Bail for each was set at $1,000.