Napa businessman held on $5 million bail after cache of weapons found, sheriff says
A Napa businessman has been jailed with bail set at $5 million after sheriff’s deputies located a massive cache of weapons and explosives at his home and business, including gunpowder and five pipe bombs, the sheriff’s office said Saturday.
Ian Benjamin Rogers, 44, was booked on five felony illegal weapons charges and one misdemeanor charge Friday, after deputies searched the two locations on a warrant, according to a news release. His bail is set at $5 million.
“This is gonna be one that gets a lot of attention, for sure,” said Henry Wofford, public information officer for the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.
Wofford said the department could not say Saturday evening if Rogers had a plan to use the massive cache of weapons, as their investigation is still in its early stages.
“We don’t want to cause any unnecessary panic, but because we’re in a very early phase of this investigation, we don’t want to rule out anything at this point,” he said.
Investigators with the sheriff’s office secured search warrants after receiving an anonymous tip that Rogers possessed illegal guns, Wofford said. They searched both his Napa home and his business, British Auto Repair of the Napa Valley, according to Rogers’ social media.
Investigators found five pipe bombs inside a safe at the auto repair business, the release said. A bomb squad with the sheriff’s office disabled the weapons.
The Napa Valley Register, whose newsroom is located near Rogers’ business, reported Saturday that authorities blocked access to the driveway to British Auto Repair, which is on Action Avenue in Napa, while disarming the weapons. A section of the Napa Valley Vine Trail was also temporarily closed.
Between Rogers’ home and business, investigators located several pounds of gunpowder, more than 15,000 rounds of ammunition and approximately 8 to 10 illegal guns, out of a stash that numbered more than 50, Wofford said.
“We realize something of this nature is extremely alarming and significant,” he said. The sheriff’s office has notified both the FBI and California Highway Patrol about its evidence.
“There will be more to the story,” Wofford said.
You can reach Staff Writer Kaylee Tornay at 707-521-5250 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @ka_tornay.