East County man arrested after more than 100 guns found at his home

Local

EL CAJON, Calif. (CNS) – A probationer was back behind bars Friday on suspicion of illegally hoarding a large cache of firearms, including at least eight “ghost guns,” at his El Cajon-area home.

John Thomas Fencl, 60, was arrested Monday during a search of his residence, where investigators found more than 100 rifles, assault weapons, shotguns and pistols, according to El Cajon police.

Fencl allegedly had additionally stockpiled several thousand rounds of ammunition — including incendiary, tracer and armor-piercing rounds — along with body armor, a tear gas grenade and silencers.

“Also in the home were numerous machining tools believed to be used in the manufacturing of firearms,” Lt. Randy Soulard said.

“Many of the firearms found in Fencl’s home are illegal to possess in the state of California and other parts of the United States.”

The search stemmed from an April traffic stop in El Cajon during which Fencl was arrested for allegedly being in possession of a concealed and loaded ghost gun, according to police. He was released on bail later that day.

“At the time of the stop, Fencl was found to be on probation from a previous arrest for possessing a loaded firearm,” Soulard said.

“As a condition of his probation, Fencl was prohibited from possessing firearms. Based on his arrest, police believed Fencl may have additional firearms at his residence.”

“Ghost guns” generally are built from a kit, lack a serial number and are largely untraceable.

Neighbors at the mobile home park where Fencl lives say they don’t know much about the suspect and that he mostly keeps to himself — they’re glad police found the weapons.

“Now that it’s gone, I think that’s great … Just seeing all the kids that are around, that’s not something you need and it’s just really concerning,” said a neighbor.

Fencl was facing numerous felony weapons charges and was being held on $50,000 bond. He was scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

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