Medford police snatched a small arsenal from a group of felons on Wednesday, including a fully automatic, military issue machine gun.
Officers received a tip Wednesday that a machine gun was seen at a home in the 1000 block of Court Street in Medford. Police descended on the home and made contact with three known felons living there.
A search of the home turned up a .30-caliber M2 machine gun, which is illegal to own in Oregon, Medford Chief Tim George said.
"This kind of gun does cause us concern," George said. "There is no reason for this group of felons to own a military issue, fully automatic machine gun."
Arrested at the home were Mary Jeanette Hayes, 41, Erlindo Manuel Nunez, 23, and Gideon Christopher Rayburn, 32.
They were each charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and possession of a prohibited weapon. They were lodged in jail on $15,000 bail.
Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said the three are well-known to local cops.
"They are known drug users and we did find some methamphetamine at the scene," Budreau said.
Police then turned their attention to a trailer located in the 200 block of Talent Avenue in Talent.
They had learned that additional weapons were stored at that address.
The machine gun found at the Medford home upped the danger level going into the Talent residence, George said.
"That machine gun made us aware that all precautions needed to be made," George said. "That's why we used a SWAT team at the Talent trailer."
The heavily armed SWAT team served a search warrant at the trailer. Inside they found eight additional firearms, including rifles, shotguns and handguns.
Also discovered was a bulletproof vest and meth paraphernalia.
Brandon Lee Evans, a felon, was arrested at the scene and charged with numerous crimes including being a felon in possession of a weapon, being a felon in possession of body armor, possession of methamphetamine and several warrants. He was lodged in jail without bail.
The investigation is continuing, One thing officers want to learn is where the group attained the machine gun, Budreau said.
George said the machine gun was in pristine condition and was test-fired after being seized.
"It was amazing to think what damage a gun like this could do in a short amount of time," George said.
"You definitely make this community safer when you take these weapons out of the hands of felons."
Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.