A convicted felon was taken into custody and several guns and a large quantity of drugs were recovered Wednesday from a University City home.
It was the result of a year-long combined investigation into resident Paul Holdy by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the FBI.
The Department of Justice said 19 firearms, including short-barrel machine guns, assault rifles, and handguns, were recovered along with multiple silencers and two gallons of the date rape drug, GHB.
Neighbors were surprised to learn automatic weapons and drugs were being sold from a home on their quiet cul-de-sac.
"It’s hard to believe that this goes on in our quiet little community here. It’s scary," neighbor Chris Yusunas said.
Longtime family friend and neighbor, Wallace Helm said the house belongs to the Holdy's father. Holdy had moved back in four months ago.
"There has been no unusual activity. He has a motorcycle he uses occasionally. He comes and goes,” Helm said.
A video appears to show Holdy surrounded by ATF agents and FBI, in tactical gear and guns drawn. He was taken into custody at the Best Buy in La Jolla Village Square.
"At first, I thought maybe someone was snagged for shoplifting or something like that. Then again, ATF doesn't get involved in that,” witness George Spillman said.
A search warrant filed in federal court Tuesday showed details of controlled buys of heroin and guns between undercover agents and Holdy.
Hazmat was called to test liquid and powder substances that were also recovered, which federal agents could not identify.
"We definitely didn't find any explosives. I want to make sure all the residents around here get that message. There are no explosives here so they don't have to worry about their families and children,” Capt. Robin Cervantes, from the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD) said.
Investigators said Holdy was convicted on felony drug charges in 2009 making the penalty for these offenses even greater.
If convicted on all charges, Holdy is facing up to 30 years in prison.