LOS ANGELES – A California attorney and ex-Rialto police officer pleaded guilty today to one felony count of illegally possessing multiple unregistered weapons, including a short-barreled rifle, two silencers, and a hand grenade.
Sergio Lopez de Tirado, 43, of Corona, pleaded guilty to possession of an unregistered firearm and destructive device.
United States District Judge Fernando M. Olguin scheduled a September 26 sentencing hearing, where Lopez de Tirado will face a statutory maximum sentence of 10 years in federal prison. Lopez de Tirado is currently in custody without bond.
According to court documents, law enforcement found Lopez de Tirado asleep and apparently intoxicated in the passenger’s seat of a pickup truck that was parked with its doors wide open and blocking a driveway in Norco. During their search of the truck on December 21, 2018, authorities found a short-barreled 9-millimeter rifle, two silencers, and a hand grenade in a holster under his arm. Other items, such as high-capacity magazines, ammunition, and brass knuckles, were also found in the truck.
According to court documents, the firearms in the vehicle – including the short-barreled rifle and an AR-type rifle with a silencer – were loaded when recovered by authorities.
Lopez de Tirado admitted in his plea agreement that he had not registered the rifle, the silencers or the hand grenade with the National Firearms Registration and Transfer Record.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Inland Empire Joint Terrorism Task Force, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Substantial assistance was provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, the Rialto Police Department, the Corona Police Department, and the California Highway Patrol.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Reema M. El-Amamy of the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section.
Release No. 19-071