Automatic assault rifles are turning up in Fresno. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), says 26 AK-74’s (a variant of the AK-47) and a Dragunov sniper rifle were taken from Ft. Irwin in mid-July.
The military assault rifles have made their way to the Fresno streets. Police have recovered two of the automatic rifles in Southeast Fresno. Chief Dyer says they were for sale; police found one Monday morning and another last week. “We do know the potential of these ending up in the hands of gang members and ultimately creating injury in the community and even death,” says Dyer. Fresno Police are working alongside the ATF, the FBI and the army’s CID. So far numerous arrests have been made; ATF did not specify how many but it was confirmed three arrests have been made in Fresno.
“We are working to recover as many firearms as quickly as possible.” Dyer says the firearms are extremely dangerous, “They fire rapidly and inaccurately.” The stolen rifles can fire up to 600 rounds a minute. Most AK-74’s most contain the standard 30 rounds; a clip that can be emptied in three seconds.
Officials are still looking for the other rifles; they’re offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the recovery. Police ask you to call ATF’s gun hotline at (760) 380-5812 or Crime Stoppers at 498-STOP.
Christina Lusby Reporting.