MIAMI – A man and his 11-year-old grandson found a little more than they were looking for during a weekend fishing trip. The pair pulled two .50-caliber Barrett sniper rifles out of a canal near Miami.
Duane Smith told the Miami Herald he saw a YouTube video on magnet fishing and decided to give it a try on Sunday. They dropped a 5-pound (2-kilograms) magnet in the C-102 canal in southern Miami-Dade County.
“We ended up with two pounds of scrap metal and 40 pounds of gun,” Smith told the newspaper.
The guns were not loaded and they didn’t find any ammunition.
“The Barretts had so much mass,” Smith, 61, said. “The magnet went straight to them.”
Smith told the newspaper he was concerned because the serial numbers on the lower receivers of the weapons and the bolt of one of the rifles were filed off.
“Whoever did this is not your run-of-the-mill criminal,” said Smith, a former Army infantry officer.
He called Miami-Dade police and two officers came out to pick up the guns.
Detective Christopher Thomas told the Herald it will likely take the department a while to determine if the weapons were used in a crime.
“Judging by the photo, those have been there for a while. That said, it will take some time for the weapons to end up at our forensics lab. Once there, they will be processed,” he said.
Smith said he isn't convinced the guns were in the water very long. He says they were wrapped in plastic and we wiped away most of the corrosion in 30 minutes.
“It looked like it was something that someone would want to come back for,” he said.