FONTANA, Calif. (KABC) -- A 57-year-old man was arrested after hundreds of illegal firearms were found in a Fontana storage facility Saturday, authorities said.
Fontana police responded to a call of a suspicious person and vehicle at the Extra Space Storage in the 13400 block of Foothill Boulevard at about 12:54 a.m.
Officers located the suspect, who they later identified as Steven Durant, a convicted weapons dealer, near a U-Haul truck and two open storage units. Police said they were able to see several firearms and ammunition in plain view.
The suspect gave the officers consent to search the units, and several illegal AK-47s were located, authorities said. Officers obtained a search warrant and seized more than 300 firearms, many military-grade machine guns, scrap parts to make illegal weapons and more than 20,000 rounds of ammunition, according to police.
The unprecedented cache of weapons in his city reminds Fontana Police Chief Rod Jones of the violent shootout in North Hollywood 18 years ago when police were outgunned by two bank robbers armed with fully-automatic weapons.
"What this shows and what we've known for quite some time is law enforcement doesn't create the concept of militarization, we're responding to it," said Jones.
Durant was on federal probation for manufacturing machine guns, and was previously a fugitive on the run for 16 years after escaping from a prison program in 1997.
Durant was arrested and booked into the West Valley Detention Center. He faces multiple charges of possession of illegal firearms and an explosive device.