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California man accused of planning "elaborate grand theft"

California residents may be interested to learn of a situation involving an alleged grand theft scheme. On May 24, police executed a search warrant at a mobile home. They claim to have found more than 50,000 rounds of ammunition and a weapons cache that included rifles, shotguns and handguns. The man is also alleged to have possessed armor-piercing bullets, which are illegal under California law.

Police claim that the search revealed evidence that the accused man is a mastermind behind an elaborate theft scheme and that he was attempting to lure others into his conspiracy. It was not stated whether additional evidence was found to support this theory. However, they did claim that the man has conducted surveillance of his intended target and performed reconnaissance. The accused man was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft. A judge set bail at $500,000. It was not stated whether other individuals are being investigated in connection with the charges.

Local police contacted the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Department of Justice to help classify the guns, some of which are believed may be assault rifles. Police did not indicate whether additional charges would be forthcoming.

A person who is convicted of conspiracy is sentenced as if the crime was completed, so conspiracy to commit grand theft is a felony. Criminal conspiracy requires an agreement between two or more individuals that a crime be committed. A person cannot be convicted of conspiring with himself. When the evidence does not support the accusation that a person agreed with someone else to commit a crime, it may be possible for a defense attorney to help with reducing the charge, negotiating a deal or having the charges dismissed.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "ive Oak man arrested for plotting grand theft", Shanna McCord, May 24, 2013

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