gets 5 years for illegal ammo stash
News. AP, August 27, 2007.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A Cuban exile who claimed
that he stashed more than 1,500 guns and
other weapons in his home as part of a plan
to overthrow Fidel Castro was sentenced
Monday to more than five years in federal
Robert Ferro, 64, of Upland, pleaded guilty
to a single count of weapons possession
earlier this year. He allegedly claimed
that he was storing the weapons with the
knowledge of Alpha 66, a Florida-based paramilitary
group that for decades has plotted to overthrow
the Cuban leader.
A spokesman for Alpha 66 has denied that
Ferro was a member of that group.
Police who raided Ferro's home in April
2006 discovered 35 machine guns, 130 silencers,
a live hand grenade, a rocket launcher and
89,000 rounds of ammunition concealed in
false walls, dummy bookshelves and hidden
Ferro, a retired Army Special Forces officer,
was prohibited from owning the weapons because
of a prior conviction for possession of
explosives on a Pomona chicken ranch. Federal
authorities alleged that Ferro was running
a training camp for Mexican nationals to
overthrow Castro when they found the five
pounds of C-4 explosives.
Ferro's current attorneys had asked for
a sentence of less than two years because
of Ferro's diabetes and a heart condition.
In a filing with the judge, they said that
Ferro would likely die within several years
because of his poor health.
They also argued that Ferro was a gun collector
and that at least 30 of the guns in the
cache were "clearly antiques."
A phone message for his attorney, Christopher
D. Johnson, was not immediately returned