Riverside County Sheriff's Department cruiser. File photo: Toni McAllister
Riverside County Sheriff’s Department cruiser. MyNewsLA.com file photo: Toni McAllister

A documented gang member on parole was arrested Monday for allegedly being in possession of a so-called “ghost gun” and ammunition, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reported.

Members of the Coachella Community Action Team conducted a parole compliance check at 8:45 a.m. in the 83-000 block of Avenue 50 in Coachella and took Juan Hernandez, 22, into custody, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Mariano Matos.

When they searched Hernandez’s home, they found him in possession of a 9mm non-serialized handgun — considered a ghost gun for being untraceable — and an extended 30-round magazine, according to the sergeant.

Hernandez was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio on suspicion of possessing a firearm while being a felon, possessing ammunition while being a felon and possessing a non-serialized handgun.

Hernandez’s previous criminal history was not immediately available.

Hernandez is expected to make an appearance at the Larson Justice Center in Indio as early as Aug. 25, jail records show.

Ghost guns, also known as kit guns or 80-percent guns, are virtually untraceable weapons that can be made at home using legally purchased parts to complete the 80% already assembled. They are sold at gun shows and online.

The unfinished parts are not required under federal law to have serial numbers or a background check to purchase.

Ghost guns were used during a 2013 shooting at Santa Monica College, in which six people, including the shooter, died; a series of shootings in Tehama County in 2017, in which five people died; and a 2019 shooting at Saugus High School, in which three students, including the shooter, were killed and three others were injured.

The ATF recovered 10,000 ghost guns in the U.S. in 2019, 2,700 of which were in California.

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