Three men are facing federal charges in connection with firearms that were stolen from multiple Los Angeles self-storage facilities between December 2018 and September 2019. A total of 47 weapons were reported as stolen from locations in Culver City, Glendale, Valencia, West Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Some were later sold to convicted felons, according to the source.
The May 30 theft at a Valencia self-storage facility involved 35 firearms, including multiple .45-caliber pistols, 12-gauge shotguns and high-powered rifles. Two of the pilfered guns, a .45-caliber pistol and a .40-caliber pistol, were sold the same day as the burglary, an indictment alleges.
Alan Elperin, 29, Rick Eric Herst, 34, and Jeffrey James LaFraniere, 37, were charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of dealing firearms without a license, and two counts of selling stolen firearms. Herst and LaFraniere also face charges of selling firearms to convicted felons and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Herst was apprehended on Monday, while Elperin and LaFraniere have been in police custody since June for separate cases. All three are now in federal custody. If convicted on all charges, Herst and LaFraniere face a maximum sentence of 60 years, while Elperin could get up to 30.
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Herst has pleaded not guilty to the charges and a May 19 trial date has been set. He has two felony convictions in Los Angeles in 2009 for vehicle theft. LaFraniere has multiple felony convictions in Los Angeles between July 2007 and August 2016 for burglary, identity theft and possession of methamphetamines for sale, the indictment stated.
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