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Agents Empty Storage Unit of Weapon Cache

January 17, 2003|From Reuters

QUEEN CREEK, Ariz. — Federal agents seized more than 200 weapons ranging from vintage rifles to modern flamethrowers, rocket launchers, bazookas and machine guns Thursday at a storage unit in a Phoenix suburb, officials said.

Agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms descended on Power Mini Storage in Queen Creek, 30 miles southeast of Phoenix, to take the weapons under a search warrant obtained in connection with an investigation of a man in Worcester, Mass., officials said.

Scott Segal, 40, was arrested in December on weapon charges and has been freed on bail.

Jim Power, the owner of the storage depot, said "It was a massive cache of firearms and ... just got bigger and bigger as they took inventory this morning."

Power said the agents first produced a search warrant last week, but that they did not open the unit and begin taking the weapons until Thursday.

He said the owner of the storage unit was a "regular Joe" who he knew to be a collector -- but not of guns. "He doesn't dress funny or act funny or hand out extreme literature," Power said.

Power said the weapons ranged from "classic antique rifles" to automatic weapons, rocket launchers and explosive devices, and that the confiscated items filled a pickup truck.

"Some of these things are obviously collectors' items, just beautiful museum pieces," he said. "And there's other stuff that no person needs to ever have possession of, things like flamethrowers."

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