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Search for porn leads to a stash of firearms

Published November 15, 2003

RIDGE MANOR - While searching the home of a 49-year-old man suspected of having child pornography Friday, federal and county authorities also discovered that the felon owned more than half a dozen firearms.

James J. McAndrew, 49, was arrested and charged with eight counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Also, he is likely to face federal child pornography charges. A federal indictment is pending, according to Sheriff's Office arrest records.

McAndrew was arrested after members of the FBI's Innocent Images Taskforce were investigating allegations that he had pornographic images of minors, and as the Ridge Manor man told investigators that he had planned to leave the country to visit a friend in the Netherlands.

About 6:45 a.m. Friday, investigators descended on McAndrew's residence on 34811 Hibiscus Drive and executed a search warrant.

During the search, federal authorities, who were assisted by Hernando sheriff's deputies, found four firearms under his bed: a shotgun with sawed off woodstock, a pump action shotgun with pistol grip, a .22-caliber rifle with scope and another rifle with scope, the report said.

As they continued to search the residence, investigators also found four more firearms located in the closet, under the driver's seat of McAndrew's Ford pickup truck and in a shed behind his house, the report said.

McAndrew, who is self-employed, claimed that he had filed forms to own the weapons despite being convicted in 1977 of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and other charges in Massachusetts. He was sentenced to eight to 10 years in prison for that conviction.

McAndrew appeared before a 5th Judicial Circuit Court judge Friday morning and his bail was set at $80,000. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 6.

[Last modified November 15, 2003, 01:34:29]

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