Alarming amount of guns found in felon’s home, police say - FOX 13 News

Alarming amount of guns found in felon’s home, police say

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Neighbors say the little house at the corner of 37th Street North and 22nd Avenue North in St. Pete was always busy.

"There's always a ton of people there, kids, birthday parties, people always going in and out," said neighbor Al Appugliese.

Thursday morning there was a different kind of crowd at the house.

"This whole two block area was full of like, it looked like ATF, it looked like military SWAT, it looked like 30 guys," said Appugliese.

"They came round the corner and all of a sudden there's about nine or 10 cars that come up right behind them. They come up surrounded the house and told everybody in the neighborhood to get inside," said eyewitness Richard McElravy.

Their target was 31-year-old Jason Dean Thomas.

A tipster told police that Thomas, a convicted felon, might have drugs and guns.

Investigators say they found cocaine, marijuana and prescription pills, and they found guns - an awful lot of them.

"In total, we have 31 firearms, both handguns and rifles, an extremely large amount of ammunition. There's a number of extended capacity magazines of the hundred round variety," said St. Pete Police Spokesman Mike Puetz  "It's a rather kind of an astounding number of guns that  I think even the experienced officers in the group were totally surprised by the number of weapons we found here."

Police also searched a tattoo shop that Thomas owns on 34th Street North.

They found ammo at that location.

This all comes as the gun control debate has become a hot topic across the country, and a week after St. Petersburg police and the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office announced their month-long gun bounty program.

Both agencies are offering big cash for the recovery of assault rifles and other guns.

Appugliese has lived on 37th Street North with his family for 16 years.

He said the amount of guns found worries him, but what he also worries about is the gun debate focusing on the wrong people.

"They need to quit worrying about gun laws and restrictions on law-abiding citizens when there's always going to be guns on the street,' he said.

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