More than 500 firearms seized from Clovis home of man with mental health issues

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Thursday, November 19, 2015
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The biggest weapons seizure ever made in a single home by the California Department of Justice, and it happened in Clovis.

CLOVIS, Calif. -- The biggest weapons seizure ever made in a single home by the California Department of Justice, and it happened in Clovis -- more than 500 firearms and 100,000 rounds of ammunition.

"I believe it makes the neighborhood safer as well as the state of California," said DOJ Special Agent-In-Charge Michael Haroldsen.

State agents arrested 59-year-old Albert Sheakalee at his home last week.

Sheakalee didn't deny having the impressive haul of weapons -- including ten assault weapons, 88 shotguns and 234 rifles. But his son tells Action News it was a bogus government gun grab -- even though state agents say Sheakalee isn't allowed to own any guns.

Wall-to-wall guns filled a conference room at the California Department of Justice Fresno office -- all of them seized Thursday at the same Clovis home. From run-of-the-mill handguns to a military style 50-caliber rifle, agents say Albert Sheakalee had it all. "And then you see the numerous assault weapons that we have here," Haroldsen said as he showed a reporter the array of weapons.

Agents say Sheakalee was once a federal arms dealer, but he lost his license last year. And this year, he lost his right to own any firearms after he was institutionalized three times in June. "Obviously when a person is admitted into a hospital for a mental health hold it's because he's believed to be a danger to himself or to the public," Haroldsen said.

The DOJ tracks people who still have registered weapons despite bans for mental health problems, restraining orders, or certain criminal convictions.

In this case, they say Sheakalee still had about 150 registered in his name five months after he was ordered to give them up.

Action News tracked him down at home Wednesday. He didn't say much, on his attorney's orders, but his son told us they run a dealership out of the house, and all but one of the guns was registered to himself or his father -- even the assault weapons, which are banned in California unless they were registered before 2001.

Neighbors told us it's a little concerning to know such a huge arsenal was so nearby, especially if the owner is unstable. And DOJ agents say they could've been prime targets for burglars. "These firearms were not stored in safes or locked up, so anyone breaking into his home would have had access to any of these guns," Haroldsen said.

Sheakalee posted an $11,000 bond after his arrest.

Prosecutors haven't charged with a crime yet, but he's due in court next month and they could file a case by then.