[Marxism] Man with massive arsenal denied bail

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Apr 21 09:16:53 MDT 2006

(Alpha 66 denies Robert Ferro is a member. The police have now also 
found C-4 explosives and a rocket launcher in his house. After finding 
nearly 900 guns, they went back Wednesday and found MORE THAN 500 MORE 
guns in his house.)

April 21, 2006
Man with massive arsenal denied bail
By Melissa Pinion-Whitt Staff Writer
San Gabriel Valley Tribune

RIVERSIDE - A federal judge on Thursday denied the release of a man
whose Upland home contained a cache of more than 1,400 firearms and

An attorney representing Robert Ferro, 61, argued in U.S. District
Court that his client was not a danger to the community or a flight
risk, so he should be eligible for bail.

But because of Ferro's claim that the weapons were paid for by the
militant group Alpha 66, an organization plotting to overthrow the
Cuban government, the judge disagreed.

"I believe he has access to more weapons and explosives through this
group," said Judge Oswald Parada.

Federal prosecutor Dennise Willett said the police task force L.A.
Impact, along with FBI and ATF agents, uncovered nearly 900 firearms
and explosives in their April 14 search of Ferro's home on Tapia Way.
Dozens of agents returned to the home Wednesday and found more than
500 additional firearms and explosives.

The weapons, including a grenade filled with TNT, were hidden in
rooms concealed by fake walls and bookshelves.

Willett said agents also found 20 empty hand grenades and fuses.

Willett called the discovery in Ferro's home "frightening" for his
neighbors, who had no idea what was being stored in his home.

"\ continue to find more and more hidden compartments," she said.

Ferro's attorney, Wayne Rozenberg, said it is the seizure of the
weapons that now makes his client safe.

Rozenberg added that Ferro has a number of health problems, including
high blood pressure, diabetes and kidney and liver problems that
would prevent him from traveling too far from where he lives.

Staff writer Edward Barrera contributed to this story.

m_pinion-whitt at dailybulletin.com

(909) 483-9378

>From the Los Angeles Times
Group Denies Tie to Weapons
Cuban exiles say Robert Ferro, jailed after
hundreds of guns were found at his Upland home,
wasn't a member of their organization.
By Lance Pugmire
Times Staff Writer

April 21, 2006

A militant organization of Cuban exiles disavows any connection to a
retired Army Special Forces officer arrested last week after
authorities raided his Upland home and found more than 1,300 guns and
explosives, the group's leadership said Thursday.

Robert Ferro, 61, told federal authorities that the weapons hidden in
his San Bernardino County home - including machine guns, grenades and
a rocket launcher - were being stored for Alpha 66, a Florida-based
paramilitary group that for decades has plotted the overthrow of
Fidel Castro.

"We don't have records of Robert Ferro; we know nothing of that
person," said Mario Estevez, press secretary of Alpha 66 in Miami.
"We have 50,000 members, maybe more, and most of our members are in
Cuba. Robert Ferro is not a member of our organization."

Ferro, a Cuban immigrant, faces a federal weapons charge. On Thursday
a U.S. District judge in Riverside denied his request for bail. Ferro
faces a 10-year prison sentence if convicted, Assistant U.S. Atty.
Dennise D. Willett said in court.

Ferro's attorney, Wayne M. Rozenberg of Murrieta, said he wasn't
surprised to hear that Alpha 66 had denied any connection to his
client, since the paramilitary group operates in a clandestine

"I wouldn't expect anything different from them," Rozenberg said.
"It'd be surprising if they admitted his membership."

Rozenberg said outside court that Ferro possessed government-issued
weapons and said that how he acquired them "may come to light as this
case develops."

Rozenberg said the U.S. government had supported the overthrow of
Castro in the past. Ferro "simply continued that endeavor. The
government is complicit, hoping he succeeds, and maybe even helping
to succeed."

Willett told the judge she strongly objected "to the suggestion the
government has assisted him [Ferro] in obtaining these weapons, or
assisted him in overthrowing Cuba."

Ferro has said since the early 1990s that he was an Alpha 66 member.
It was then that Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies raided his
Pomona chicken ranch, where he had been training mercenaries to
overthrow Castro.

Authorities found five pounds of the explosive C-4 on the compound,
and in 1992 Ferro was convicted of possessing an explosive device and
sentenced to two years in prison.

On Friday, Ferro was arrested after state and federal law enforcement
authorities raided his home in the 2000 block of Tapia Way in Upland.

The search was part of an investigation of a La Verne man accused of
shooting his wife and a Glendora police officer. The alleged gunman,
Frank Fidel Beltran, 36, was arrested late last month while living at
a Rancho Cucamonga home owned by Ferro.

Investigators believe Ferro may have supplied guns to Beltran,
described by law enforcement authorities as a member of a Pomona
street gang.

Outside court, attorney Rozenberg said there was "no truth to the
idea that [Ferro] was selling weapons."

On Thursday, law enforcement officials found a rocket launcher and a
silencer-equipped rifle at Ferro's home.

Thom Mrozek, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles,
said investigators were working to establish why Ferro had the guns
and how he acquired them.

Ernesto Diaz, leader of Alpha 66, said federal authorities would
quickly determine that Ferro was not affiliated with the anti-Castro

"He [Ferro] might be trying to cover what he was doing with the
guns," Diaz said. "How did he pay for these guns? How did he collect
this many guns without anyone knowing? We don't know."

Ferro is scheduled to be arraigned May 10 in Riverside, and U.S.
officials said there was a strong possibility that he would face an
additional charge of harboring a fugitive.

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