A Riverside man pleaded guilty Friday to illegally possessing more than a dozen handguns that he intended to sell, while the convicted felon who allegedly joined him in the underground enterprise was ordered stand trial on similar charges.
Jermaine Anthony Augustine Hernandez, 25, admitted one count each of the attempted sale of a firearm to a prohibited person and bypassing a licensed firearm dealer in procuring a firearm.
In exchange for his admissions, the Riverside County District Attorney’s Office dropped two counts of child endangerment against the defendant, as well as one count of illegal sale of a gun.
Superior Court Judge Gail O’Rane is slated to certify the terms of the plea deal when Hernandez is sentenced on Oct. 5 at the Riverside Hall of Justice. He is free on a $35,000 bond.
Meantime, Superior Court Judge Bambi Moyer ruled there was enough evidence to order Hernandez’s co-defendant, 42-year-old Timothy Matthew Carroll, to answer charges of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.
Moyer scheduled a post-preliminary hearing arraignment for Sept. 11 at the Riverside courthouse. Carroll is free on a $10,000 bond.
According to the Riverside Police Department, Hernandez and Carroll came under investigation last October after detectives received tips that Hernandez was acquiring handguns in Arizona, bringing them to California and altering the serial numbers to conceal the fact the guns were procured illegally. He then attempted to sell them from an apartment shared with Carroll in the 1800 block of Loma Vista Street, Officer Ryan Railsback said.
Sufficient evidence was gathered to obtain a search warrant, which was served at the location on Oct. 18.
Railsback said 17 pistols of various calibers, along with 30 large-capacity magazines, were seized from the apartment, in addition to an undisclosed quantity of ammunition.
Hernandez’s two children, ages 1 and 3, respectively, were at the residence, he said.
According to court records, Carroll has prior convictions for receiving stolen property, child abuse and driving on a suspended license.
Hernandez has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.
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