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Brothers arrested in Monterey County for allegedly manufacturing guns

lauderdale gun bust
Monterey County Sheriff's Office

SALINAS, Calif. (KION) The Monterey County Sheriff's Office said two people were arrested and 45 guns were confiscated after an agricultural crime investigation led to an investigation into gun manufacturing.

Detectives served a search warrant in the 500 block of McAllister Street Tuesday as part of the investigation. They said they found more than 15 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition and evidence that the suspect there, 44-year-old James Lauderdale, was manufacturing guns. Lauderdale was arrested.

Later that day, investigators served a search warrant on Monteclaire Place in the Prunedale Area at his brother's home. Detectives said they found more than 20 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition and evidence that 55-year-old Robert Lauderdale was manufacturing guns. Robert Lauderdale turned himself in Wednesday at the Sheriff's Office.

The Sheriff's Office said guns in both places were stolen during a residential burglary in Salinas. The guns ranged from pistols to fully automatic rifles.

Both brothers were arrested and booked into the Monterey County Jail on weapons-related charges. The Sheriff's Office said there is no evidence that they were planning an attack.

Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Jason Sullivan at 831-759-7279 or Det. Sgt. David Vargas at 831-755-3771.

Crime / Monterey County / Salinas / Top Stories

Avery Johnson

Avery Johnson is the Digital Content Director at KION News Channel 5/46.



  1. All the way up until they actually become a working firearm, much of the process is not illegal. You can buy individual gun parts all day long, the barrel, the stock and other parts. The ones that requires that you have fixtures and power tools to mill them into working parts is where the legal line in the sand is drawn. Once you put it all together and you have a working firearm, you have now just committed a crime. There are only two reasons people make these off the grid firearms. 1. To have back up weapons in case the law comes and tries to take away our registered firearms. They can’t take what they don’t know about. 2. To illegally supply firearms to criminals.

    But let’s be clear there are plenty of legally operating gun accy shops that sell everything you need to make an AR type rifle. They even sell the fixtures needed to mill the legal parts (non-working parts) into illegal parts.

    I think many people believe that having an off the grid firearm is smart, and maybe it is, given what is going on in the world right now. But if you get caught, then you just became a felon and that something that I just can’t do right now.

  2. You’d best give a lot of thought to your actions before you start doing things like this. Oddly, this case brings to mind the one a while back where a search warrant was served and a bunch of devices used to convert Glock handguns to an automatic fire capability were seized. I wondered how many had already been sold. Now, I wonder how many machine guns these clowns have sold.

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