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Police uncover arsenal of guns, explosives in Gresham man's home

Officers found nine handguns, seven rifles, two homemade suppressors and a pipe bomb -

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: GRESHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT - Christopher Norwood Young, 27.Gresham police uncovered numerous firearms and a destructive device early morning Tuesday, Aug. 16, during the execution of a search warrant at a residence located in the 16600 block Northeast Wasco Street.

Officers found nine handguns, seven rifles including an AR-15 and AK47 assault rifle, thousands of rounds of ammunition, two homemade suppressors and a pipe bomb, with components to construct more destructive devices.

The operation was conducted at 3:30 a.m. at the residence of suspect Christopher Norwood Young, 27, who was located inside the residence and taken into custody without incident, police say. The operation was done with the assistance from East Metro SWAT, Southwest Washington SWAT, Washington County SWAT, Portland Police EDU and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.

In May 2016, Gresham Police Detectives began investigating a large scale theft ring that was targeting heavy equipment from local construction sites. According to police, Young traveled to the sites to identify potential heavy equipment to steal. He would then allegedly take photos of the equipment and post sales advertisements on Craigslist. Once a buyer was interested, police say Young would set up a delivery date which would allow him time to steal and transport the equipment.

“Young would target items such as front loaders and skid steer tractors," said Gresham Police Detective Tony Cobb. “These stolen tractors would be sold to unsuspecting buyers for as little as $9,000 and as much as $30,000.”

While serving a search warrant on Young’s address in June 2016, looking for evidence of heavy equipment thefts, Gresham police say they were surprised to find an arsenal of weapons, two training grenades and one live grenade. While going through evidence obtained in that search, investigators came under the belief that Young was in possession of a fully automatic AR-15 rifle and numerous other firearms, which he was firing inside his residence into a 50-gallon drum-style barrel in the backyard.

Young also had manufactured homemade suppressors to muffle the sounds of gunfire, police say.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO: GRESHAM POLICE DEPARTMENT - Police ask for help locating Fabian PenicheAccording to police reports, further evidence revealed that Young had conversations with an individual about doing a school shooting, though the statements were vague with no direct threats to any specific school. Police take any school threat seriously and detectives are working to discover the legitimacy of the threats.

Young has been booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on accusations of 12 different charges. They include possession of a machine gun, possession of a destructive device, manufacturing a destructive device, attempting to manufacture a destructive device, three counts of identity theft, unlawful use of a weapon, two counts of possessing a silencer, eight counts of unlawful discharge of a firearm (Gresham City Ordinance), two counts of theft in the first degree, seven counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle, seven counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, and four counts of aggravated theft in the first degree.

Detectives are asking for assistance locating a second suspect, Fabian Peniche. They urge anyone with information about Peniche, the ongoing investigation or Young, to contact the Gresham Police tip line at 503-618-2719.