RIVERSIDE – A Moreno Valley couple appeared in Riverside County Superior Court on Friday, May 11, 2018, to be arraigned on a grand jury indictment charging them with 70 weapons-related felonies.
Bearl Andrew Leach, DOB: 3-6-85, and his wife, Sarah Anne Leach, DOB: 5-18-90, are each charged in the indictment with a variety of counts including manufacturing of assault weapons, possession of assault weapons, possession of a short-barrel rifle, and possession of high-capacity magazines. They are being held at the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta in lieu of $2 million bail each.
They were arrested on May 8, 2018, in Moreno Valley and appeared in court today to be arraigned in case number RIF1880080, after the unsealing of a Riverside County grand jury indictment issued on May 1, 2018. The arraignment was continued to May 25, 2018, in Dept. 41 at the Hall of Justice in Riverside.
The indictment was the result of a joint operation conducted by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI’s Inland Empire Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
The investigation began after the Inland Empire JTTF received a tip regarding threats made by the couple. Investigators, agents, and task force officers were able to obtain a state-level search warrant for the couple’s residence where multiple illegal assault weapons were found.
In addition, evidence discovered during the search of the residence led investigators to believe the husband and wife were operating as illegal firearms dealers and were manufacturing and selling assault weapons out of their home. Each of the assault weapons seized appeared to be custom designed for the buyer and were unregistered.
The investigation involved a collaborative effort from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The FBI’s Inland Empire JTTF is a multi-agency task force, comprised of personnel from the FBI’s Riverside Resident Agency, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Corona Police Department, San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Rialto Police Department, Ontario Police Department, Riverside Police Department, and other agencies.
The mission of the FBI Inland Empire JTTF is to prevent, investigate, and respond to potential terrorism threats, or threats to the Inland Empire community.
Press Release Provided By the Riverside County District Attorneys Office Sheriffs Department