California Man Arrested After Two “Expended” Rocket-Launchers Found In Trash-Can Near School
Police in California arrested a man after discovering two “expended” rocket launchers and a practice grenade in a dumpster near a school.
“Today, two AT-4 launchers and an MK69 practice grenade were found by construction crews in the county area of Winchester. While all items were expended, these items do not go into dumpsters,” Riverside County Sheriff’s Bomb Squad said in a Facebook post.
The bomb squad’s statement includes pictures of the Swedish AT4s, a single-shot, disposable, recoilless smoothbore anti-tank weapon, and was deemed “expended” – meaning they were either fired or could no longer be fired.
“These items are “generally” NOT legal to possess (there are some limited exceptions),” the agency said, adding that people in possession of these weapons should “dispose of them legally” or “return them to the military.”
Through video footage and fingerprint evidence, the sheriff’s office was able to track and trace Christopher Whetstone, 41, back to the weapons.
“During the service of a search warrant, evidence of the original crime was located, along with narcotics, and a bazooka,” said Riverside County Sgt. Edward Soto.
Soto said, “Although there is a school located directly behind the concerned residence, a school was not directly involved in the incident.”
Whetstone has been charged with tampering with a motor vehicle, possession of tear gas, and grand theft. He has yet to face federal charges for what the National Firearms Act calls grenades and bazookas “destructive devices.” Perhaps because the AT4s were already spent and are single-shot, though considering California, there could be other legal ramifications he may face on a state level.