Four children were taken into custody by the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services on Tuesday when a child abuse investigation at their home uncovered illegal firearms and ammunition stored in the open and unsecured.
Paul Anthony Cruz, a father and convicted felon, was being interviewed by South Pasadena police at his home on January 23, due to suspicions that his children were being abused. A social worker from the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services was also present.
While inside the home and speaking to the father, officers allegedly discovered a semi-automatic assault-style rifle that was fully loaded inside of the bedroom of one of the children. The social worker took custody of the four children residing with Cruz; three youngsters and one 11-year-old boy.
Due to Cruz’s felon status, he is not allowed to possess firearms. Police were issued a search warrant and they returned to Cruz’s home. During their search, they found eight firearms in addition to the one they seized in the initial investigation. More than one high-capacity magazine, and what officers described as large amounts of ammunition were also inside the house.
South Pasadena Police Department Corporal Craig Phillips reported that the firearms found at the scene were not registered to Cruz and that all of the items were left where the children could access them.
33-year-old Cruz was arrested and booked on charges of felony child endangerment, being a felon in possession of a weapon and criminal storage of a firearm. He was taken to the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles and was being held on $100,000 bail.
If you or someone you love is suspected of child endangerment, contact Orange County criminal defense lawyer Staycie R. Sena at (949) 477-8088 for a consultation now.