Traffic stop in Newport Beach leads to seizure of 7 assault rifles, more than 350 rounds of ammunition

Published: Nov. 19, 2014 Updated: 4:29 p.m.

NEWPORT BEACH – Two people were in the Orange County Jail this week, after police stopped them in a van with automatic rifles and ammunition.

The van contained seven AK-47 assault rifles, six 30-round high-capacity 7.62 caliber magazines, two 10-round magazines and more than 350 rounds of 7.62 caliber ammunition inside, Newport Beach police spokeswoman Jennifer Manzella said.

Manzella said the arrests are significant because of the weapons seized. All of the guns were modified to fire in fully automatic mode, and one had a barrel less than 16 inches in length in violation of California state law, she said. One of the AK-47 rifles had been reported stolen in Georgia.

“We put the guns safely in law enforcement’s hands,” she said.

According to police reports:

A Newport Beach police officer spotted a green Dodge Caravan with an expired registration and equipment violation leaving a gas station near Bristol Street and Irvine Avenue at around 8:50 p.m. Friday.

During the stop, the officer determined that Andrew John Cardiel Jr., 42, of Banning, was driving on a suspended license. His passenger, Heather Magun Gurule, 30, of Yucaipa was on probation.

Both appeared nervous, Manzella said.

Police said they found drug paraphernalia, burglary tools and a notebook with identity-theft information also was found inside the van.

Cardiel and Gurule each were charged with possession of a firearm by a felon; a prohibited person owning ammunition; possession of an assault weapon; transporting a machine gun; and possessing, selling or manufacturing a short-barreled shotgun or rifle.

In addition, Cardiel has been charged with possession of an opium pipe and controlled substance paraphernalia, false evidence of registration and driving on a suspended license.

The two are being held in lieu of $500,000 bond.

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