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September 26, 2022

Morgan Hill man among three accused of making ghost guns

DA: Suspects ran illegal firearms factory in Willow Glen home

Authorities arrested three people—including a Morgan Hill man—for running a “sophisticated” ghost gun manufacturing enterprise that sold illegal firearms to criminals, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Joseph Cahoon, 31, of Morgan Hill, Jack Mahon, 38, of San Jose, and Amanda Bazzani, 32, of San Jose, are accused of running a “full-scale ghost gun factory inside an unassuming $1.6 million house” in Willow Glen, says a press release from DA Jeff Rosen’s office.

All three suspects were scheduled to be arraigned Feb. 22 at the San Jose Hall of Justice on multiple charges of illegal gun possession. If convicted, they face prison time, authorities said.

Ghost guns are firearms with no serial numbers or altered serial numbers. The illegal guns are preferred by criminals because they can be bought and sold on the black market, ordered online and assembled at home, the press release says. Felons and others prohibited from gun ownership can obtain privately made ghost guns without a background check, making them difficult to regulate.

The recent arrests followed a joint investigation led by the DA’s office. A search of the brick bungalow on Roy Avenue in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose found more than eight assault rifles, two handguns, central parts of assault rifles, three partially completed machine pistols, ammunition, 3D printers and suspected fentanyl—a synthetic opioid that has been found repeatedly on the black market throughout the region in recent years.

The three suspects, who are all convicted felons, specialized in “custom order” assault weapons for criminals, authorities said. They built AK and AR-style assault rifles, made to order. The firearms were built using kits, jigs and 3D printing, and Cahoon often customized the guns to be fully automatic machine guns.

California has seen a “massive increase” in ghost guns in recent years, the press release continues. Santa Clara County has seen an increase in the prevalence of these weapons at crime scenes and in shootings recently.

“Ghost guns are swamping our community, illegal part by illegal part,” Rosen said. “This is an extremely dangerous game of ‘Transformers.’ We are working tirelessly to dismantle these criminal networks.”

In the Willow Glen case, the DA’s Gun-Related Intelligence Program and Bureau of Investigations identified a prolific build operation involving privately made firearms with no serial numbers, authorities said.

On Feb. 17, the DA’s office BOI, San Jose Police Department, Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms coordinated a warranted search at three locations, the press release continues. This collaboration resulted in the recovery of weapons and the materials used to assemble the illegal firearms.

The small Willow Glen home had a “build area” where gun parts were made and the weapons constructed, according to authorities. The home also had safes filled with ammunition and weapons.

All three suspects were legally prohibited from possessing weapons, according to Rosen’s office.

Cahoon, Mahon and Bazzani were scheduled to be arraigned at 1:30pm Feb. 22 in San Jose.

The DA’s office released photos of some of the illegal firearms found in a Willow Glen home where three suspects are accused of running a “ghost gun factory.”
The DA’s office released photos of some of the illegal firearms found in a Willow Glen home where three suspects are accused of running a “ghost gun factory.”
Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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