REDWOOD CITY — A South San Francisco man has pleaded not guilty to a list of felony charges after police discovered a cache of weapons, drugs, alligators and possibly explosives in his home, a prosecutor said Tuesday.
Lazaro Ismael Leon Jr., who is believed to be a Norteno gang member, entered his plea Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court and Commissioner Stephanie Garratt set the man's bail at $1.2 million, said chief deputy district attorney Steve Wagstaffe.
While serving a search warrant at 39-year-old Leon's home on Circle Drive on Jan. 21, members of the San Mateo County Narcotics Task Force seized an assortment of weaponry, Wagstaffe said. Police discovered 10 handguns, two assault pistols, three rifles and three assault rifles in a gun safe, he added. They also found a pistol in a bed side table, thousands of rounds of ammunition, three shotguns, bullet proof vests and some suspected C-4 plastic explosives, Wagstaffe said.
Leon faces 24 counts of possession of a firearm by felon. He has two previous felony convictions, including a possession of stolen property charge from 1989, said assistant district attorney Karen Guidotti.
In addition to the weapons, officers seized 13 marijuana plants, one pound of dried pot and an undisclosed quantity of cocaine, police said. Prosecutors have charged Leon with cultivating marijuana, possession for sale of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and being a gang member while committing a felony. He faces roughly 20 years in prison if convicted on all charges, Guidotti said.
She added that police discovered three alligators in a fish tank in the room where the guns were stored. While prosecutors said Leon possessed the reptiles illegally, he has not been charged with a crime in relation to the alligators.