A man who lives on Fortuna Mine Road, up the hill from Phoenix Lake Country Club Estates, was behind bars without bail Thursday on charges stemming from his alleged possession of multiple firearms and ammunition.
Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office staff said the man, Richard Klidies, 42, is a convicted felon, and he is prohibited from possessing firearms and ammunition.
Jail staff, who work for the Sheriff’s Office, would not disclose specific charges against Klidies or his bail amount.
Sgt. Deborah Moss, spokeswoman for the law enforcement agency, said Thursday afternoon Klides was in jail and was being held on a no-bail probation hold, as well as fresh charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, which has a $60,000 bail amount.
Sheriff’s staff first posted at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday about the man’s arrest on Facebook and headlined the post “A probation search pays off in East Sonora …”
They said in their first post that Tuolumne Narcotics Team detectives did a probation search Wednesday afternoon at Klidies’ residence and found several firearms and some drug-use paraphernalia.
Sheriff’s staff posted an update at 11:41 p.m. Wednesday and they said one of the alleged weapons Klidies had was a replica submachine gun, not an authentic submachine gun.
Lt. Jarrod Pippin with the Sheriff’s Office said Thursday afternoon the replica submachine gun is “a semi automatic .22 caliber made to look like an MP-5 9mm submachine gun.”
Because it’s a replica, it’s legal for any individual to own and possess as long as the individual is not prohibited from possessing firearms in the first place, sheriff’s staff said.
In Klidies’ case, sheriff’s staff said, he is a convicted felon and already on probation for being a felon in possession of firearms. He cannot lawfully possess any firearms or ammunition.
Sheriff’s staff originally described the replica submachine gun as an MP-5.
The German gun manufacturer Heckler & Koch makes the 9mm MP5, and the name in German is short for maschinenpistole 5, which means submachine gun 5.
In basic terms, a submachine gun is a small machine gun, also known as a machine gun pistol.
The first submachine guns were developed during World War I as magazine-fed, automatic carbines designed to fire pistol cartridges. The term was coined by a United States Army officer, John T. Thompson, inventor of the Thompson submachine gun, also known as the “Tommy Gun.” Replicas of the rapid-firing gun became popular props in 1930s and 1940s movies about crime, organized crime, liquor-running during Prohibition, so-called G-men, and war.
Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies said the replica submachine gun was stolen. Sheriff’s staff said they would work with the lawful owner to return the weapon.
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