Anthony Hernandez, 25, of Rio Rancho, was arrested by Cibola County Sheriff’s Office Nov. 1 for embezzlement of guns/weapons from Bulldog Firearms on Southern Blvd.

While responding to the store Sept. 21 on a report of embezzlement, the owner said he had recently fired Hernandez for various issues regarding missing gun parts. The owner did an inventory and discovered that there were over 40 transactions where Hernandez did not pay. The list of items was processed and written down as stolen.

Officers continued to meet with the owner and discovered that Hernandez had fraudulent forms for all the weapons he stole and used other employee’s pin codes to sign off on them. Those employees were not present at the time he used their pin codes.

Detectives served a search warrant at Hernandez’s residence Oct. 31. During that search, detectives found several empty gun cases that matched the serial numbers of the stolen guns. They also found other empty boxes for the stolen gun parts.

Hernandez was not present at the time of the search; a neighbor told officers that he had moved out prior to the warrant being served.

Upon further investigation, detectives found that Hernandez was in the middle of the hiring process to become a corrections officer in Cibola County. County police there arrested him as soon as they found out about the stolen guns and gun parts.

The stolen guns and gun parts are valued between $2,500-$20,000.

Hernandez, if convicted, will face up to three years in prison and a fine of $5,000.