Cirilo Montes, 55, was arrested during the 3 p.m. search at his home in the 3900 block of Dwiggins Street in East Los Angeles
Cirilo Montes, 55, was arrested during the 3 p.m. search at his home in the 3900 block of Dwiggins Street in East Los Angeles, West Covina police Detective Adrian Del Haro said.
After learning that Montes was involved in narcotics activity, the West Covina Police Department's Special Enforcement Team, which handles narcotics investigations and other targeted enforcement operations, launched a monthlong investigation, the detective said.
"We've been following him throughout the month of August," Del Haro said.
Ultimately, officials removed 48 individually bundled kilograms of cocaine, six handguns, three rifles, two shotguns and an SKS assault rifle fitted with a bayonet from Montes' home.
Investigators estimated the street value of the drugs to be more than $1 million.
The bulk of the guns and drugs were found under Montes' bed, though one bundle was found in a laundry basket. Several of the guns were loaded, police said.
About $50,000 in cash, which was packaged by denomination, a money counting machine and equipment for vacuum sealing the cocaine bundles was also found, police said. A bullet-proof vest was also recovered.
Though he was not on parole, Montes is a convicted felon who is barred from possessing firearms, Del Haro said.
Montes' wife and mother were also present at the time of the search, but neither was arrested, officials said.
Montes was not suspected of crimes in West Covina, however, the Police Department's SET team develops leads and follows them wherever they go, officials explained. Many members of the team are also sworn Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, expanding their jurisdiction. Del Haro declined to comment on what led police to suspect Montes.
"They're very, very diligent," Lt. Ron Mitchell said. "Once they get into an investigation, they usually follow it through."
The lieutenant added he was pleased with the results of Wednesday's efforts.
"We have a multitude of guns that are not going to be used by anyone, for any illegal purpose anyway," he said.
Wednesday's arrest and seizure came after Del Haro spotted Montes walking from his home to his car Wednesday afternoon and approached him.
Montes, who moved to East Los Angeles from Diamond Bar earlier this year, agreed to allow police to search his home, and the drugs and guns were soon discovered.
Montes cooperated during the search and was arrested without a struggle, Del Haro said.
According to county booking records, Montes is being held in lieu of $2 million bail and is due for arraignment today in West Covina Superior Court.