Bouquet Canyon man gets time served in weapons case 


The legal saga of a Bouquet Canyon felon arrested on federal gun charges — who had his case tossed over evidentiary concerns, only to be picked up by the L.A. County District Attorney’s office — came to a conclusion Monday, for now, with an odd footnote. 

Franz Grey, 58, pleaded no contest last month to two felony charges in the California Penal Code that prevent those previously convicted of a felony, which Grey was, from possessing firearms. 

He was sentenced to two years and eight months in state prison, given credit for 1,022 days served — half of which he was in custody for, the other half for “Good Time/Work Time,” and then released for time served.  

But, apparently, he was not released before he filed one more unsuccessful legal challenge. 

L.A. County Sheriff’s Department deputies alleged they were investigating a report of a stolen U-Haul box truck and they found Grey hiding under the rental during their December 2022 search of the property where Grey lived north of Santa Clarita. 

Deputies reported that they secured Grey in a patrol unit, received consent from Grey to grab his keys and phone for him and, while doing so, observed drug paraphernalia and narcotics “in plain sight,” according to court records. 

Deputies’ discoveries led them to conduct “a protective sweep of the residence for officers’ safety,” according to officials, at which time they found live ammunition rounds and a weapons safe that prompted a search warrant request that ultimately was granted. 

Grey’s case was initially investigated by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, which dismissed the charge in January after conversations with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, according to a spokesman from the DA’s office on Jan. 17, 2023.  

Grey was then charged federally with one count of a felon being in possession of a firearm, which carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the Department of Justice, at the time Grey’s indictment was announced. 

He spent more than a year in federal custody, filing briefs over what he claimed was a yearslong pattern of harassment by law enforcement officials.  

Grey argued in federal court briefings that he had a reason the vehicle was not returned: It was stuck on his property. He also contends he was never contacted by the rental company because his phone lines were cut by individuals targeting him. 

He also alleged in a federal court filing that the arresting officers were not truthful in their court statements, and that his warrantless arrest at gunpoint and the subsequent search represented a violation of his Fourth and 14th Amendment rights. 

A 41-page brief from federal public defender Charles Snyder that preceded Grey’s case getting tossed from federal court said the Dec. 16, 2022, search of his property was an example of the harassment his client faced from the FBI and the LASD.  

The feds ultimately dropped their case in January in response to Grey’s filing, which also argued that the “government will not be able to show that Grey’s warrantless arrest within the curtilage of his home was reasonable.”  

However, the DA’s office picked up the case for refiling in February of this year. 

A Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives report on the weapons at Grey’s home said Grey was “a convicted felon, had an outstanding warrant for his arrest for 245(a)(4) PC: Assault with a Deadly Weapon, and was on the FBI terrorist watch list.”  

In addition to his sentence of time served, he must make restitution to U-Haul and pay hundreds of dollars in court costs. He also had nine other weapons charges dismissed as a result of his plea deal. 

Shortly before his sentencing, the court received an ill-timed appeal from Grey in the form of a personal note, which the court addressed summarily on Wednesday in an empty court.  

“On the afternoon of May 10, 2024, the court received a hand-written document entitled ‘Motion to Disqualify Judge 170.6 Peremptory Challenge,’” according to the minute order from Department D in San Fernando.  

“The motion is untimely as it was not filed within 10 days of notice of the case assignment to this court. The motion is therefore stricken and denied. In any event, defendant had already accepted the People’s plea agreement offer and had entered a change of plea before the court ever saw the motion. As such, the motion is now moot.” 

Grey’s next court date is expected to determine his restitution to U-Haul for the box truck. 

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