A South Carolina man was arrested Saturday after deputies seized thousands of stolen guns in his home and a nearby storage building.
Chesterfield County Sheriff Jay Brooks told WBTV deputies made a startling discovery at the Pageland home of Brent Nicholson, 51, who has been charged with possession of stolen property.
“There’s like 150 chainsaws, probably 250 to 300 taxidermy mounts, somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 stolen weapons,” Brooks said.
The sheriff told the station almost all of the weapons were shotguns and hunting rifles and that it looked like Nicholson was hoarding guns others had stolen for him. There was no indication Nicholson was a gun trafficker, he said.
The guns may have been stolen from North Carolina homes and hunting clubs. Nicholson's home is near the state's border.
“None of us have ever seen anything anywhere close to this,” Brooks told the station. “No telling how many break-ins this will help wrap up.”
The Charlotte Observer reported that hundreds more weapons were found at a liquor store Nicholson and his father run and at the father’s house.
“There were so many guns we quit counting after a while,” the sheriff told the paper.
Also found were crossbows, ammunition, tools, air compressors and 4-wheelers that authorities also believe were stolen.
The weapons and the loot were hauled away in four 40-foot tractor-trailers.
Nicholson had been charged earlier in the week with selling opium and heroin in Union County, WBTV reported.
Deputies in that case went to Nicholson’s house on Friday to serve him with a subpoena.
They found chainsaws and a welder “in plain sight” on the front law that had been reported stolen only days earlier, that station and The Observer reported. The deputies knew because they had written the stolen property reports.
“They went to a judge and got a search warrant and went back to the house and found literally thousands of guns,” Brooks told The Observer. “They secured the scene and called everybody in. We’ve been there ever since and we’ll probably be working on this into next week.”
Brooks said Nicholson has a “lengthy record,” according to the newspaper.