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Calif. man with cache of weapons claims to be part of anti-Castro group

The Associated Press

SAN BERNARDINO, California- A Cuban exile arrested for allegedly stashing more than 1,000 guns in his home said he is a member of a militant group that wants to overthrow Fidel Castro.

Robert Ferro, 61, was arrested after authorities raided his home on Friday and found dozens of assault weapons, machine guns and handguns. Authorities believe Ferro may have been running a black-market gun ring out of the home.

But Ferro told federal investigators that he was a member of Alpha 66, "a militant group who collectively desire to overthrow Fidel Castro and liberate the country of Cuba," according to an affidavit filed in federal court by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Ferro said the organization paid for the guns and had other caches of weapons, according to the court document.

A message left Thursday for Alpha 66 by The Associated Press was not immediately returned.

"To hear this is shocking. I don't know what's going on. I don't understand it," said the suspect's wife, Maria Ferro. "I know he wants Castro out of Cuba, but I didn't know the other things he wanted to get into."

Ferro, a retired U.S. Army Special Forces officer, had previously been accused of running a paramilitary camp on a chicken ranch to train Mexican nationals to overthrow Castro. Authorities found 5 pounds (2.25 kilograms) of C-4 explosive at the ranch, and he was convicted of possessing illegal explosives in 1992 and sentenced to two years in prison.

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