Police defend waiting to raid home filled with weapons

September 16, 2011 8:33:31 PM PDT
San Jose police insist a man found with a house full of guns and explosives did not fall through the cracks, but a neighbor says she warned police about him months ago. Mark Sedlock was arrested Tuesday and made a brief court appearance Friday.

Police say it's a matter of priorities and even if they had known Sedlock was a felon in possession of weapons, they would not have done anything differently. It turns out he had 45 firearms and eight explosive devices.

The district attorney has charged Sedlock with 10 felony counts. Eight of them are for the explosive devices found and detonated at his San Jose home Tuesday. The other two are for guns.

Neighbor Tiffany Mays filed a complaint against Sedlock in April, telling police she believed he was a felon dealing guns.

Police Friday said at the time, they viewed that information as suspicious circumstances and not a crime. So they say they properly routed it to a case management unit and not an investigative unit.

"Unless there is a clear, imminent threat and the crime is ongoing, then it is something we will file away, we will keep and hopefully corroborate it with more evidence at some point," San Jose Police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

They say that point came on Tuesday when police raided Sedlock's home based on another complaint that did trigger a search warrant.

Despite finding 45 guns, ammunition and eight explosive devises, Sedlock's roommate says he isn't dangerous.

"As far as the weapons and explosives they're like large firecrackers, maybe in they're in plastic tubing, whatever, but the whole thing is over exaggerated," John "O" said.

Police say they know of more than 200 felons in the city who are registered gun owners, and even if that fact applied to Sedlock when his neighbor filed her police report in April, they say they would not have handled the complaint any differently because they are short staffed and must focus on ongoing crimes with immediate victims.

"We're aware of them, we don't forget them, but at the same time we have to prioritize and this person may have fallen into that realm," Dwyer said.

The district attorney says to expect an amended criminal complaint with additional weapons charges when Sedlock appears in court next week.

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