Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Huge Weapons Arsenal Found in Yonkers Home

Neighboring homes were evacuated as authorities assessed potential threats, but have since been allowed to return

By Jonathan Dienst, Shimon Prokupecz and Brynn Gingras
|  Thursday, Sep 6, 2012  |  Updated 11:50 AM EDT
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Authorities say residents of three Yonkers homes were evacuated after a landlord discovered a cache of weapons and suspicious items in an apartment when he went to check on a tenant who hadn't paid rent.

The landlord found multiple weapons, including assault rifles, 15 handguns, several shotguns, a bulletproof vest, smoke grenades, NYPD-like shields and thousands of rounds of ammunition in boxes in a storage area in the apartment at 22 Alder St., a multi-family home, law enforcement sources said.

The finding prompted an evacuation of three homes Wednesday afternoon as officials investigated whether there was any explosive material in the apartment.

Law enforcement sources identified the tenant as 53-year-old Antonio Olmeda, who is currently jailed at Rikers Island on attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting at two Queens police officers in December.

Police identified him through DNA after the shooting incident and eventually arrested him in Manhattan. They also released surveillance footage and a photo of him after that incident.

When he was arrested in December, he was carrying a .45-caliber gun and had a .38-caliber weapon in his bag, soures said. Four more guns were later found in his home, sources said.

The attempted murder case is pending in Queens. Information on an attorney wasn't available.

Law enforcement sources say the apartment where the guns were found was not Olmeda's primary residence and it appears no one close to him knew he had the place in Yonkers. There does not appear to be any new threat associated with him, the sources said.

Yonkers police were joined by the Westchester County Hazardous Devices Unit and the Yonkers Fire Department. The FBI was called in as a precaution. Detectives were spotted carrying out large evidence bags throughout Wednesday afternoon and into the evening.

Residents said authorities gave them only 15 minutes to leave their homes. They said they were forced to stand outside for hours. They were allowed to return to their homes by Thursday morning.

The investigation is ongoing.

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