[KHTS] – A Simi Valley man accused of impersonating an officer and stealing from a Castaic weapons manufacturer has taken a plea deal.
Jeffrey Edmonds, 37, pleaded no contest to the charges Monday at Los Angeles County Superior Court in San Fernando.
Edmonds is expected to receive one year in county jail, three years of formal felony probation and, because he’ll be considered a felon upon sentencing, he will have to forfeit all of his firearms, Shirley said.
“He’s scheduled to be sentenced March 21 in Dept. S,” said Guy Shirley, deputy district attorney for Los Angeles County, who prosecuted the case. “He pled to count one grand theft, which is was a felony; count 2, impersonating an officer, which is a misdemeanor; and possession of a machine gun.”
A no contest plea is considered the same as a guilty plea in the eyes of the criminal plea; however, it does not constitute an admission of guilt in terms of civil liability.
He’ll be expected to start serving his sentence when he turns himself in for sentencing, Shirley said. He has been free in lieu of $250,000 bail since his initial arrest.
Edmonds was accused of using a former Los Angeles Police Department officer’s badge and stealing from Cobra Tactical, “a firearms manufacturer specializing in high quality custom firearms,” according to the company’s website.
“The investigation began as a case of grand theft in the unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, and led to detectives discovering the alleged officer impersonation and cache of illegal weapons,” said Deputy Josh Dubin of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, in a previous interview.
“Through a thorough investigation, deputies were able to recover the stolen property and charge the suspect, as well as seize several illegal firearms,” Dubin said.
On Sept. 5, the owner of a licensed firearms manufacturer reported two parts of an AR-15 rifle were stolen from his business in the Valencia Industrial Center.
Edmonds initially was facing 14 counts, but that was reduced under the terms of a negotiated plea. If convicted in the three counts Edmonds pleaded to, he faced a maximum of four years and two months in prison.
The weapons he was charged with stealing with will either be returned to the rightful owner or destroyed, Shirley said.
Detectives contacted the Los Angeles Police Department and notified them of the incident, and that they had a suspect who claimed to be an LAPD officer.
Detectives learned from contacting the LAPD that the badge and identification card used by Edmonds was fake, and he was not actually a sworn law enforcement officer.
After an investigation, Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station detectives, working with deputies
from the Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau, served a search warrant on Edmonds home.
At Edmonds’ Royal Avenue home, deputies alleged they found numerous weapons, some of which were illegally modified, and some of which are illegal to own, according to Sheriff’s Station officials.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies and detectives worked with the Sheriff’s Department’s Major Crimes Bureau’s Fugitive Task Force, which is comprised of members of the U.S Marshall’s Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Task Force, in making the arrest, Dubin said.
Edmonds is linked online to Muzzle Flash Media, “a veteran owned and operated multimedia company that is mission driven for the firearms and tactical community.”
Deputies did not release the name of the victim in the theft, however, Muzzle Flash claims a working relationship to Cobra Tactical and several other weapons-industry related companies on its website. Cobra Tactical is located in the Valencia Industrial Center.