Three Charged with Running Sophisticated Ghost Gun Factory in Willow Glen

CONTACT:
Michael Vidmar 
Crime Strategies Unit
408-792-2489

Three Charged with Running Sophisticated Ghost Gun Factory in Willow Glen

Three people will be arraigned today on charges that they ran a full-scale ghost gun factory inside an unassuming $1.6 million house in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose.

The arrests come after a joint investigation led by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and a search into the brick bungalow on Roy Avenue that found more than 8 assault rifles, 2 handguns, central parts of assault rifles, 3 partially completed machine pistols, ammunition, three 3D printers, and suspected fentanyl.

Joseph Cahoon, 31, of Morgan Hill, Jack Mahon, 38, and Amanda Bazzani, 32, both of San Jose, are charged with multiple felony counts of illegal gun possession and will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. in Department 23 of the Hall of  Justice. The suspects, all convicted felons, specialized in custom-order assault weapons, built for criminals, and sold on the illegal market. They face prison time, if convicted.

The suspects specialized in illegal weapons, including AK and AR-style assault rifles, made to order. The guns were built using kits, jigs, and 3D printing. Cahoon often customized the guns to be fully automatic machineguns.

“Ghost guns are swamping our community, illegal part by illegal part,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “This is an extremely dangerous game of Transformers. We are working tirelessly to dismantle these criminal networks.”

In recent years, California has seen a massive increase in “ghost guns.” Firearms with no serial numbers are preferred by criminals because they can be bought and sold on the black market, ordered online, and assembled at home. Felons and prohibited persons can obtain these privately made firearms without a background check, making them extremely difficult to regulate. Santa Clara County saw a huge increase in the prevalence of these weapons at crime scenes and in shootings.

In this case, the District Attorney’s Gun-Related Intelligence Program and Bureau of Investigations identified a prolific build operation involving privately made firearms with no serial numbers.

On February 17, 2022, a coordinated three-location warrant execution took place, involving the DA Office’s BOI, San Jose Police department, Santa Clara County Sherriff’s Department, and ATF. The collaboration resulted in the recovery of a trove of weapons, and of the materials used to assemble a cache of illegal weapons. The small home had a build area where the gun parts were made and weapons constructed, and safes filled with ammunition and weapons. All three defendants were legally prohibited from possessing weapons.

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